Certain aspects of love and romance truly do boil down to chemistry – we've all heard of "animal attraction," that crazy force that makes our hearts and brains feel like snow-globes of joyful and kinetic energy. These forces are indeed so powerful that they've been shown to make parts of peoples' brains light up like a Christmas tree in lab experiments.
"Falling in love causes our body to release a flood of feel-good chemicals that trigger specific physical reactions…This internal elixir of love is responsible for making our cheeks flush, our palms sweat and our hearts race." - Pat Mumby, PhD, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic
Similarly, particular nutrient rich foods have been shown to elicit physiological responses which mimic the sensations and effects that come along with being in love, and, more specifically, ahem, getting in the mood. While we won't go so far as to suggest that aphrodisiac foods have the power to transform you into a god or goddess of the boudoir, there's one thing that can't be denied - eating the right foods makes you feel good, and feeling good gives you confidence. The foods in the list below go one step further by providing a blast of nutrients to get those happy, feel-good, sexy brain chemicals flowing. So throw on some Marvin Gaye and get eating: Chili Pepper - The term "spice things up" didn't come from nowhere! With their fiery red color and piquant heat, chili peppers speed up your heart rate and stimulate the release of endorphins, mimicking the state of sexual arousal (according to Meryl S. Rosofsky). Whip up a batch of grilled broccoli with chili and garlic for a spicy side that will leave you hot and bothered (in a good way). Pomegranate - The sumptuous little seeds of the pomegranate are bursting with antioxidants, which support optimal blood flow. Often called “the forbidden fruit” its plentiful seeds have made the pomegranate a symbol of female fertility and abundance throughout history. End your Valentine's Dinner on a sweet and luscious note with coconut and pomegranate panna cotta. Chocolate – DUH! This one is sort of a no brainer. You know how good it feels when you eat a piece of your favorite dark chocolate – yeah, well there's science to prove that your feelings of utter bliss and contentment are 100% real. This is because, like chili peppers, chocolate stimulates dopamine release in our brains, which makes us feel really happy (and therefore, ready to rumble). Make chocolate the star of your V-Day celebration by incorporating it into the main dish. This chocolate mole should do the trick. No time to cook a cocoa laden feast? Get a chocolate fix and an energy boost with an Orgain Creamy Chocolate Fudge shake. Have a frisky and fun Valentine's Day!