Candlelight.  Soft music. A bottle of wine.  Sexy food.  Yes, it’s time to start setting the scene for the highlight of the month of love (drum roll please), Valentine’s Day.

And just in case you want to take things up a notch or five with your Valentine in celebration of the day, chef Brian Gomes of Mediterranean Delicacies, has put together his sublime list of foods known for their aphrodisiac qualities. “Food plays a central role in all of our interactions,” says the Gomes. 

“And when it comes to the month of love, using these 9 ideas is a sure way to spice up your meal and enjoy an unforgettable celebration of your love.”

Gomes shares his top 5 favourite foods:

Taramasalata

One of the delicious ingredients of the smooth textured Mediterranean inspired Taramasalata is olive oil, which the Greeks of ancient times believed increased virility of the males.
Olive oil has been used to promote health over the centuries.  

Rich in antioxidants, this natural aphrodisiac is filled with the good fats in the form of omega-3s – those healthy things which play a role in the feel-good hormone dopamine.  Omega-3s are also the heroes of the hormone arginine which releases nitric acid.  

This is important in increasing arterial flexibility, which according to amino-acidstudies.com means that nutrients and oxygen can be transported at a faster pace to the organs, which has an overall positive effect on potency, endurance and sexual performance.

Best of all, as Taramasalata is served as part of your appetisers, you set the mood for your night of love from the get go.

Pine Nuts

Delicate tasting with a high protein count, pine nuts are known as a versatile food –  from adding that extra delicious edge to a soup, this buttery flavoured food works well in salads too.

Their reputation comes a long way.  In fact, in medieval times they were known to take the libido to the next few levels.  They are high in zinc, which has been shown to contribute to sexual competency among males by boosting testosterone levels in the body.1

Basil Pesto

Aromatic basil is associated with arousal and has long been used by the fairer sex to attract men. The herb also boosts circulation and protects the heart, which helps to increase libido.

Basil Pesto is a suitable ingredient to use when grilling fish or meat, or even as part of a salad dressing.

Grilled Asparagus 
Grilled asparagus, prosciutto, poached egg and torn croutons 
When it comes to catalysing the production of sex hormones (and sex drive in turn) in both men and women, asparagus is a definite go-to source. With its concentration of Vitamin E, known for stimulating the production of sex hormones in both sexes, this natural aphrodisiac can be served as part of your hors d’ oeuvres or even during the meal, keeping up the mood and the loving ambiance.

Red Jalapéno Chillies
Capsaicin, the key ingredient that makes chillies hot, increases the heat in other areas too.  

This feisty component has many hidden charms such as the release of chemicals that can raise your heart rate and trigger those natural happy chemicals called endorphins, making you feel good whilst boosting your libido. 

These babies are perfect in salads or even as a pizza topping to add some zing to your meal.