Oysters, Valentine's Day

Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

We are well aware of the common aphrodisiacs that have been popularised by Hollywood movies, which have deemed oysters and chocolates to be as essential to a romantic (and expensive) dinner, as cupcakes with sprinkles are to a child's birthday party. But before you write them off completely, read on to see if they actually do anything to put you and your partner in the mood.

Walnuts

Rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts are a good source of these healthy fats which not only help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart attack, but also plays a part in boosting your sex drive. This is because these fatty acids help boost arginine, an amino acid which helps relax blood vessels and increase circulation to support arousal.

Oysters

Why let Casanova have all the fun? Rumoured to enjoy a breakfast full of raw oysters, it was widely speculated that these briny bivalves were responsible for Casanova's insatiable sexual appetite. And while most people just find the silky smooth texture of slurping them down sensual, there's been some scientific evidence that oysters might have the potential to increase one's sex drive. In addition of its high content of zinc, which is essential to healthy sperm production, oysters are also rich in amino acids that have an effect on testosterone levels, which in turn increases your libido.

Asparagus

More than just a delicious side, asparagus is also extremely nutritious, thanks to its high content of folate. It is responsible for the production of histamine, a chemical which your body releases during an orgasm.

Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cayenne

Spices don't just add flavour to your food or drink. Since ancient times, many spices like nutmeg and cinnamon have even been used across different cultures as an aphrodisiac. A sprinkle of cayenne also adds a kick to your meal, which in turn, produces heat and increases circulation within the body.

Dark Chocolate

Beyond its romantic appeal, dark chocolate has a high cocoa content, which is rich in phenylethylamine, a compound which stimulates the release of hormones like endorphins and dopamine. And when these are coursing through your veins, they help you feel good and lower your inhibitions, perfect for a night of romance.

Watermelon

If you think watermelon is only good as a refreshing drink, think again. The truth is, this juicy tropical fruit does so much more than replenishing your body with fluids. It also has a high content of citrulline, a compound which helps support the relaxation of blood vessels in order to encourage blood flow for better arousal.

Bananas

Phallic appearance aside, bananas are a great source of potassium, a mineral that is essential for muscle contractions, which is key for good sex. Moreover, bananas also contain a compound that helps produce testosterone, which has been proven to increase the sex drive in women.

Soy

Rich in isoflavones, this group of chemicals have the same effect on the female body as estrogen. This means that elevated levels of estrogen can keep the vaginal area well-lubricated to maximise sexual pleasure.

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