Home > Food & Drink > Dining > 10 aphrodisiac foods you can still buy for Valentine’s Day dinner tonight
10 aphrodisiac foods you can still buy for Valentine’s Day dinner tonight

We have something special for you if you’re planning to whip up exciting dishes this Valentine’s Day. A romantic dinner is incomplete without these foods that are known to be an aphrodisiac and help set the mood.

Valentine’s Day is here. If you’re someone whose idea of a date night involves a romantic meal at home, you may be looking for ways to amp up the love this V-Day. And if you look through movies and shows with romantic date nights, you’ll often find foods such as strawberries dipped in chocolate, cherries dipped in glasses of wine, and elegantly plated oysters.

These foods are not just for the pretence of an expensive meal or bubbling romance between the couple. Several pieces of research have shown that some of these foods are known to be aphrodisiac, which can help spice up the romance, and in many cases, improve fertility.

[Hero Image Credit: Garreth Paul/Unsplash]

aphrodisiac foods valentines day
Image Credit: Anima Visual/Unsplash

What is an aphrodisiac?

Aphrodisiacs are substances that are said to increase arousal and sexual drive, leading to increased pleasure. There are several reasons why one might want to opt for an aphrodisiac – to spice up the romance if they have low libido, or simply to try out something new.

What often comes to one’s aid, if they’re looking for natural ways to add some spice to the evening, is food. Certain foods are said to have properties that amp up romance, build arousal, and even improve fertility.

Aphrodisiac foods to add to your Valentine’s Day meal

While not all foods on the list are proven aphrodisiacs, they are known to build up romance because they release endorphins or make us warm and happy, which can lead to increased pleasure.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by fatemeh (@6.14fatemeh)

The most expensive spice by weight, Saffron is said to help relieve depression and enhance mood, especially in those on antidepressants. The spice has a subtle aroma and lends a beautiful hue to any dish it is a part of. So, this Valentine’s Day, include saffron in your meal in the form of a risotto (for a savoury course) or a Saffron Panna Cotta.


This decadent indulgence is rich in flavour and is often a guilty pleasure. The ingredient, a popular one in desserts, contains phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are said to be mood elevators. According to WebMd, eating chocolate makes you feel good – at times even euphoric. Maybe that’s why many of us turn to a bar of chocolate or a rich, gooey chocolate cake when we’re feeling low or want to treat ourselves! However, the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate are more about the sensual pleasures it offers as it melts in the mouth, or how chocolate desserts give a rich mouthfeel.

So, this Valentine’s Day, add this aphrodisiac food to your dessert in the form of an indulgent, creamy mousse, chocolate truffles or even strawberries dipped in chocolate, and spice up the evening with your partner!



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Luka’s Oakland (@lukasoakland)

Oysters contain zinc, which is said to be vital in the production of testosterone. The micronutrient also helps promote libido in both men and women and is often an addition to romantic meals. What’s more, Casanova was rumoured to enjoy them as a vitality booster. So, this V-Day, get a hold on some oysters, if you and your partner like seafood, and give this delicacy a try.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Niki (@nikian_products)

The sweet, gooey golden liquid is delicious on pancakes and in desserts, and it is also said to be an aphrodisiac. According to Byrdie, even though honey is primarily sugar and water, it boasts of a complicated composition and is anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-bacterial. It balances hormones and is said to promote a healthy libido.

So, on V-Day, add honey to your meals with savoury dishes such as honey-glazed carrots, chicken with a sticky honey sauce, or add it to desserts such as honeycomb, vanilla sponge cake with a lemon and honey syrup, or even honey ice cream that you can make at home.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dasha (@littlekalegirl)

Figs have a soft, mushy texture, sweet scent and a delicious flavour. They are also high in amino acids, which are said to increase stamina. Figs also help increase stamina, and can help with reproduction, too.

So, add this aphrodisiac fruit to your meal with a fig salad or a fig and apple pie, and make an indulgent Valentine’s Day meal for your partner.


The ripe, red fruit is said to stimulate the senses with its colour, shape (a little heart) and flavour, and the act of eating strawberries has been romanticised in many movies and books. These berries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which improves blood flow, and the sweet, citrusy flavour makes it a great pairing in salads and desserts.

Make this aphrodisiac fruit a part of your Valentine’s Day meal with a strawberry and balsamic vinegar salad, strawberry tart, champagne with berries, or simply dipped in some decadent, smooth chocolate.


Bananas contain potassium, Vitamin B2 and more, which are important in maintaining health, sexual drive and more. What’s more, the sweet scent of banana bread can help enhance pleasure and build arousal.

So, this Valentine’s Day, serve up that banana bread recipe you perfected throughout the lockdowns, top it with honey ice cream or chocolate syrup, and take your romantic evening several notches higher.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rob Smith (@robsallotment)

Yes, the spicy peppers are also considered to be an aphrodisiac. Capsaicin, which is responsible for the heat levels of pepper, is said to stimulate the nerve endings of the tongue, leading to a release of adrenaline. When eating peppers, your heart rate rises and your body temperature goes up, all of which can add to the sensual pleasures.

So, add a hint of chilli to your V-Day meal, and end it with a chocolate and chilli mousse. However, don’t overdo this spice, as it may end up having negative effects on the night!


Cinnamon adds warmth to beverages and meals alike, promoting relaxation. The warm spice makes for a delicious addition to foods, enhancing their flavour. It is also packed with antioxidants and is said to improve your love life.

End your meal with a warm cinnamon-spiced hot chocolate or cinnamon rolls, or add the spice to your main course this Valentine’s Day, and see if it works for you.


Vanilla has been linked to passion for a long time, with its sweet scent and flavour enhancing pleasure. It helps create a calming effect, decreasing stress and increasing arousal, making it a great addition to a romantic meal.

So, add this aphrodisiac ingredient to your menu in the form of a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, and make your Valentine’s Day meal super romantic and special.

This article was first published on Travel + Leisure India.

Sign up for our newsletters to have the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Yes, I agree to the Privacy Policy

Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.