Ever since Casanova boasted of having 50 oysters for breakfast, these slippery shellfish have been a staple on the plates of would-be Lotharios everywhere. How effective they really are is disputed, but the high levels of zinc in oysters are said to help raise testosterone levels in men. Oysters are also linked to dopamine, which can stimulate the bit of the brain that governs arousal. Try chopping up some shallots, seasoning them with red wine vinegar and pouring them onto the raw oyster for a simple but succulent snack.
Chocolate has long been associated with love. Legend has it that Aztec emperor Monteczuma drank 50 goblets of the stuff every day to help him keep hundreds of wives happy. And to this day, chocolate is thought to trigger the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, thus boosting your mood. Try baking chocolate muffins or rum truffles as a gift for your partner or, for a night in with a twist, get some chocolate body paint and use your beloved as your very own canvas.
As well as being delightfully sweet and juicy, this bright orange fruit is thought to boost a man’s virility. Whether it really has this effect or not, it’s so delicious that it’ll work a treat on your dinner guests. Mango is great as a dessert, but also tastes good when paired with chicken or prawns in a salad. And it’s so low in calories that your waistline will thank you too, giving you the confidence to feel even sexier around your partner. Hurrah!
Nicholas Culpepper a 17th century English herbalist, wrote that this spear-shaped veg “stirs up lust in man and woman”. Fast forward 200 years and French bridegrooms were getting through three courses of the stuff before they tied the knot. Whatever the truth about its aphrodisiac properties, it’s a great source of such good things as potassium, fibre, folic acid and lots of vitamins. Serve it with melting mozzarella wrapped in a parcel of prosciutto for a sexy starter.
This pear-shaped fruit first gained its reputation as an aphrodisiac because of its sensuous appearance. But the avocado is now known to contain nutrients that can help boost desire, such as beta carotene, magnesium and vitamin E. It can also contribute to overall self-confidence by making your hair shinier and helping alleviate dry skin. Use it to pamper each other as part of a beauty regime, or whip up some guacamole and bond with your partner over a tasty Tex-Mex feast.
Hailed as a superfood in Britain, these bright red berries are said to improve fertility as well as helping liver function and circulation. Bake them into breakfast bars or add them to your muesli to help set you and your lover up for the rigours of the day ahead.
Take a leaf out of the book of those romantic Italians, and use basil liberally in your cooking. The strong aroma of this versatile herb is thought to have an aphrodisiac effect, so whip up some fresh pesto, fill some Tupperware with cooked pasta and head out on a picnic with your partner. When you throw the mood-boosting properties effects of the sun into the mix you’ll be on Cloud Nine.
This yummy fruit has been noted for its potent effect since Roman times and, thanks to its heart-like shape, it’s been linked to the goddess Venus. When these tasty red berries hit the shelves it means summer is here, which is bound to put you and your partner in a good mood. Use them to accompany such decadent treats as champagne, chocolate and cream for a truly uplifting snack.
Napoleon dined on these rare delicacies to increase his masculine potency, and some believe their musky scent is similar to that of a male pheromone. Black truffles are said to possess the most aphrodisiac power, but they don’t come cheap. Save up for a special occasion so you and your partner can test their power yourselves at a top restaurant. The fact that you’re willing to splash the cash could be as seductive as the food.
Not the most obvious choice if you’re hoping for a kiss at the end of the night, but the negative effects of garlic could be outweighed by its benefits. These little white cloves are packed with allicin, which is said to increase blood flow. So arm yourself with some mints and go to town on the smelly stuff.