9 Foods That Boost Your Libido

[via mixingbowl]

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and you’re wondering how to show her you care. Before you pick up the phone to make a dinner reservation, consider last year’s Valentine’s Day dinner: crowded restaurant, crappy service, mediocre food. This year, why not stay in and cook up a hot and steamy meal on your own? We’ve combed through the latest scientific studies to come up with a list of foods guaranteed to boost your libido. Every food aphrodisiac here is easy to find -- and some you don’t even have to cook. So what are you waiting for? Check out our list, head to the store, and get ready for your steamiest Valentine’s Day yet.

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We know, chocolate on Valentine's Day isn't exactly a ground-breaking idea. But getting the good stuff -- the darkest, richest chocolate you can find -- is important. Why? Real cocoa releases a stimulant that boosts the same neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel euphoric during sex. (The cheap stuff just fills you up with fat and artificial coloring.) In fact, a recent study conducted by the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women who ate chocolate on a regular basis got it on more often -- and enjoyed it more when they did -- than non-chocolate lovers. Another bonus: the combination of sugar and caffeine will give you a quick energy boost between the sheets.

See Depths of Sin Hot Chocolate recipe

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There's a reason these mollusks have a steamy reputation. For one thing, oysters are packed with zinc, which promotes healthy sperm and testosterone production. But that's not even the best part. In 2005, scientist released evidence that oysters contain rare -- and effective -- amino acids that amp up the release of sex hormones in both men and women. Legendary lover Casanova is said to have consumed 50 oysters every morning for breakfast. What more proof do you need?

See Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Sauce recipe

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Rare, expensive, decadent…truffles are like diamonds to foodies. Some food experts also claim that the earthy gems are aphrodisiacs because truffles have a musky aroma that resembles the scent men release when they’re sexually aroused. Madame de Pompadore, an influential member of the French court and believer of that theory, converted to a truffle, vanilla, and celery diet with the sole purpose of igniting her love life. You, however, need not go quite that far. Try adding truffle oil to your meal for a bit of sensual flair.

See Risotto with Chives and Truffle Oil recipe

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Thanks to a remarkable likeness to, well, you know, figs have long been linked to fertility and sex. The temptress Cleopatra declared figs her favorite fruit, and Greeks celebrated the arrival of the fig crop with ritual copulation. Historically, both Roman and Japanese brides indulged in figs as part of their nuptial celebration. Whether it's all that history, or perhaps their high content of magnesium (an essential nutrient for getting your juices flowing), the erotic status of figs hasn't faded yet. Take it upon yourself to see if they live up to their reputation.

See Figs with Port Glaze recipe

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It may sounds like a bit of a stretch. After all, how could the veggie you hated as a kid be sexy? But, in fact, early Middle Eastern monarchs were such big believers in the seductive power of carrots that they had them served routinely at royal feasts. On a more scientific note, carrots provide a jumbo dose of beta-carotene that increases sex hormones (like progesterone) and amps up sperm count. Maybe that explains the whole rabbit analogy…

See Orange Glazed Carrots recipe

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Packed with a powerful cocktail of nutrients associated with boosting sexual power this fruit could be your key to a memorable night. A generous dose of potassium revs up your muscles, while vitamin B-6 aids in the release of sex hormones. Not a fan of hangovers? Swap out your favorite liquid courage for a banana -- the fruit is also said to reduce sexual inhibitions and increase self confidence. For bonus points, serve the fruit dripping with chocolate.

See Rum-Laced Chocolate Fondue recipe

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Honey's popularity as an aphrodisiac comes from the libido-boosting power of the ancient honey-laced alcohol called mead. Providing a quick rush of natural sugar, honey is also rich in B vitamins which aid in the function of the neurotransmitters responsible for sexual arousal. The term "honeymoon" even derived from the legendary sexual power of this sensual sweetener. Incorporate honey into your dessert for an easy transition into the bedroom.

See Lavender-Honey Cakes recipe

pine nuts

Pine Nuts
A key ingredient in ancient love potions, the pine nut contains the magic sex-nutrient, Zinc. One Arabian scholar recommended eating 100 pine nuts before going to bed. Not that ambitious? Try this easy appetizer recipe, or toss a handful on a salad, and see what happens.

See White Bean and Pine Nut Dip recipe

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Perhaps the most cliché of all aphrodisiacs, strawberries are known as the favorite fruit of Venus, the Roman goddess of love. The high vitamin C content of these heart-shaped fruits is known to help rev things up. Women love them, and they go great with two other proven aphrodisiacs: bubbly and chocolate. It's a win-win situation.

See Strawberry Ricotta Crostini recipe

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