The 7 Best Vegan Aphrodisiacs to Spark Romance. Here Are Your Recipes for Love!

|Updated Feb 16, 2020
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Whether you're celebrating with your special date or hanging with your long-time honey, there's absolutely no pressure to plan a perfect night for Valentines, but there should be one thing you’re looking forward to: feeling your personal best.

You might think that requires getting a new outfit, hitting the gym, or wearing a favorite fragrance. But, according to research, your mood is actually based on the feelings coming from your gut. And the best way to make sure your gut is healthy tonight and every night is to avoid processed foods and focus on clean eating. Health studies show that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in your gut, and the rest in your brain. If you’re expecting things to heat up, here are 7 delicious aphrodisiacs and recipes to match, that will spice up your romance and put you in a great mood to set the stage for a loving night.

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1. Chocolate.

You don't need to eat an entire chocolate bar since that could give you a stomachache. Instead, focus on quality and choose the highest percentage of cocoa and raw chocolate—not milk or in a brownie. You can find cacao in a powder form or in dark chocolate. Mix it in your morning smoothie or buy your loved one a dark chocolate heart and see if their mood soars.

Why it works: Cacao contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that releases serotonin, that mood-boosting chemical into the brain and of course, your gut. Another healthy chemical found in chocolate is anandamide, which works on your dopamine system. It plays a vital role in increasing your sex drive and reward system.

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2. Garlic.

If your date mentions that you smell like garlic, just tell him or her that it's a good thing! Garlic is here to help put you in the best mood for your special night.

Why it works: Garlic contains an ingredient called allicin, a compound released when garlic gets crushed or chopped. It helps stimulate circulation and blood flow in your important places, so that will make it easier to act on your arousal and increase sex drive in both men and women. Garlic-heavy dishes like pasta Cacio e Pepe are a great bet tonight!

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3. Bananas.

No, we’re not talking about the banana emoji. Bananas actually contain a high level of potassium (422 mg) and vitamin B6 (20 percent of your daily value), which both work to increase energy levels and can put a smile on your face.

Why it works: An even stronger compound in bananas is an enzyme that boosts pleasure is an enzyme called bromelain, which is similar to tryptophan, in the sense that they both increase blood flow and libido. So, if the dessert menu has a banana split, say “we’ll take one of those, with two spoons."

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4. Almonds.

Not only are they a good source of vegan protein, but almonds are proven to increase sex drive. (Who knew?)

Why it works: Almonds contain vitamin E, selenium, and zinc, which are important for sexual health. Sorry ladies, but zinc is a mineral that helps produce sex hormones and boost libido for men. On the other hand, selenium can help infertility issues. So both of you, eat the almonds at the bar before getting seated!

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5. Dates.

Including the one you might be on!

Why it works: Dates are rich in amino acids and known to increase sexual stamina. Not only are they beneficial for your sex drive, but they taste good and are a healthier substitute for artificial sugar. As sweet as your date is, tell him or her you want to order the date bar for dessert.

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6. Maca.

Maca root comes in a powdered form that has an earthy nutty taste, almost like powdered peanut butter.

Why it works: It’s highly nutritious and contains important vitamins like potassium which can help boost your mood. In a 12-week health study, maca was reported to increase sex drive and regulate hormones. Add maca powder to your smoothie in the morning, or mix it into your oatmeal base to give it texture. (It's sold everywhere.)

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7. Avocados.

Energy is essential for good health and expressing passion with your partner, and avocados provide both. (Nothing is less attractive than yawning through dinner.)

Why it works: Of course avocados are full of healthy fat that turns into energy, but they also contain vitamin B6, which is also known as pyridoxine, the kind of vitamin that helps enhance libido and keep your sex drive in high gear.

The Beet's 7 Favorite Recipes That Include These Powerful Aphrodisiacs