If you’re looking to put a little spice in your love life this Valentine’s Day, try a menu featuring some of these foods traditionally thought of as aphrodisiacs throughout the ages, courtesy of NBC Chicago contributor Dr. Sandy Goldberg.
Basil: This common herb is said to stimulate the sex drive and boost fertility.
Garlic: Among the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Japanese, garlic was one of the most widespread ancient aphrodisiac remedies. It stimulates the secretion of gastric juices, aiding digestion, and increases the blood flow. The "heat" in garlic is said to stir sexual desires. Just be sure to brush your teeth after.
Pine Nuts: Zinc is a key mineral necessary to maintain male potency, and pine nuts are rich in zinc and have been used to stimulate the libido as far back as medieval times. Think pasta with real (not cream) pesto to incorporate all three of the above.
Figs: Seasonal crops of figs were celebrated by ancient Greeks in sexual rituals. Try this recipe if you like yours wrapped in bacon.
Ginseng: This Asian root is said to increase the desire for physical contact. Not sure how to use it? Try infusing vodka with ginseng for a surprisingly perky martini.
Radish: Considered a divine aphrodisiac by Egyptian pharaohs, most likely because its spicy taste stimulated the palate. How about a fresh radish salad?
Almonds: A symbol of fertility throughout the ages. The aroma is thought to induce passion in a female. Roast for maximum scent appeal.
Mustard: Also thought to increase desire.
Vanilla: If just boosting desire seems too tame for you, try this out. The scent and flavor of real vanilla is believed to increase lust. How about a vanilla creme brulee to finish off the meal?