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Valentine's Day menu and foods with an aphrodisiac slant

February 14, 2012 - Carla Tracy

Valentine’s Day is here. This blog is for those who’ve waited until the last minute to plan the special meal with your sweetheart.

Chicago Healers Practitioner Martha Howard, M.D offers 12 foods that would make a perfect feast for a romantic evening. Below, enjoy reading Dr. Howard’s Baker’s Dozen Guide of Aphrodisiac Foods for Valentine’s Day, including her preplanned menu.

· Chocolate: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac Food - Chocolate contains anandamide and phenylethylamine (PEA) which releases dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center, resulting in feelings of attraction, excitement and euphoric pleasure. It is no secret why the box of chocolates has been a customary Valentine’s gift!

· The Almond Joy – “Back in the old days” the scents of almonds was thought to arouse passion in women, and were regarded as fertility symbols. The “back in the day” people had the right idea. Almonds contain high levels of magnesium and vitamin E. Both of these supplements have been given to men and women going through IVF treatments and have increased fertilization rates from 19 to 29 percent.

· Arugula: It’s more than a garnish – Since the beginning of time, arugula has been used as an aphrodisiac. According to the Cambridge World History of Food, arugula was combined with grated orchid bulbs, parsnips, pine nuts and pistachios to make an ‘aphrodisiac mix.’

· Asparagus: The last supper – In 19th century France, on the eve of their wedding, grooms were served three courses of asparagus at their “bachelor” dinners. Asparagus contains folic acid which is known to boost histamine production notorious for enhancing the wedding night.

· Avocado: The forbidden fruit – Catholic priests in Spain deemed avocados an outlawed food because they were thought to be so “obscenely sexual.” Avocado, like asparagus, is high in folic acid which produces histamine. The fruit also has vitamin B6 and potassium, which calms the nerves and controls many body processes such as heart regulation.

· Bananas: Guilty by association – Bananas, like avocados and almonds, have potassium, B vitamins and magnesium. Its real claim to fame, however, is the bromeliad enzyme, which is traditionally known to boost male libido.

· Basil: Feed the senses – Basil not only makes food smell and taste better, it stimulates circulation causing the heart to beat faster.

· Figs: An Egyptian favorite – Cleopatra’s favorite fruit was thought to stimulate arousal and increase fertility.

· Ginger: The aroma of desire – Ginger is another traditional aphrodisiac, because of its ability to increase circulation and desire.

· The Honey…moon - The word “honeymoon” comes from a custom in ancient Persia. Couples drank mead (liquor made from honey) daily for a month after marriage, to get them “in the mood.”

· Licorice: The love machine — In ancient China, it was believed that the smell of licorice would enhance feelings of love and lust.

· Oysters: It’s common knowledge – Oysters are the most celebrated of aphrodisiacs. Oysters have high zinc content. Zinc is known to help increase libido.


Pine Nuts: Love potion number 9- Pine nuts have been used to stimulate the libido since medieval days. They are high in zinc, like oysters, and have been used for centuries in love potions.

Now that you have the ingredients, Dr. Howard provides you with the recipe that would ensure a romantic Valentine’s night!

· Begin with an appetizer of oysters on the half shell; followed by salad of arugula, figs, pine nuts and avocado with honey-ginger dressing; spaghetti with tomato-basil sauce and grilled asparagus; chocolate and banana almond mousse; and licorice-flavored after dinner mints.


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