Foods to get you in the mood for love
Staying in this Valentine’s Day? Showing off your skills in the kitchen and cooking a meal for a partner or date could be just the ticket for getting you in the mood for love. A survey by dating app Bumble and meal kit delivery service HelloFresh found being a good cook is one of the most desirable traits in a partner. Forty-six percent of single Aussies surveyed say they’d be more interested in dating someone if they were handy in the kitchen. (No, not handsy. Handy.) And 72 percent of singles say they’re more attracted to people who can cook, as it shows they’re independent and willing to contribute around the home.
Further, more than half of all singles surveyed say they wish they were more confident in the kitchen so they could whip up a flash meal for a date. For those already loved up, seven in 10 Aussies believe that cooking a meal together can strengthen their relationship.
Dietitian Susie Burrell says couples who prepare and enjoy a home-cooked meal together this Valentine’s Day will have a good chance of experiencing a release of “happy hormones”.
“Sharing a meal with someone you love and connecting over the act of preparing a meal together can boost oxytocin levels,” Burrell says. “Oxytocin, commonly known as the ‘love hormone’, can help promote feelings of trust, empathy and bonding in relationships.
“Additionally, when we do something enjoyable, like eating a meal we love, our brain releases dopamine, the ‘feel-good’ hormone. So, cooking your partner’s favourite meal, either for them or with them, is bound to score you brownie points on Valentine’s Day.”
Foods of love
So, what should you cook? There are some foods that are believed to have aphrodisiac properties. The word aphrodisiac comes from name Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The theory is that aphrodisiacs boost libido and increase feelings of love and desire. Sure, there might not be much scientific evidence to back this up, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t give them a go this Valentine’s Day. Here’s a taster.
Oysters are one of the best-known aphrodisiacs. Famed lothario Giacomo Girolamo Casanova purportedly ate oysters for breakfast each day to boost his libido. There may be something to this. Oysters are rich in zinc, which is essential for male sexual function and fertility. Zinc also helps to maintain levels of dopamine, which can boost levels of desire.
The ancient Aztecs were among the first to consider chocolate an aphrodisiac. Aztec emperor Montezuma apparently consumed large quantities of cocoa beans to help fuel his many romantic rendezvous with various partners. Again, there’s some basis here. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine. You release this hormone when you fall in love. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, which helps produce the “happy hormone” serotonin.
The famed French epicurean Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is quoted as saying, “Truffle. As soon as the word is spoken, it awakens lustful and erotic memories.” Raunchy. It’s believed truffles’ musky aroma mimics the scent of the male pheromone androsterone. This can fire up a woman’s (or man’s) desire. So this one’s a hot tip for the men out there. But there’s a caveat. US research has found that only some people can detect androsterone. Some even find it repugnant. But it drives around 35 percent of people wild. Worth a shot, eh?
Rumour has it that the Queen of Sheba used a cinnamon-based oil to seduce King Solomon. Ancient Chinese and Indian scriptures also offer detailed instructions on using cinnamon to fire things up in the bedroom. And even modern science admits that cinnamon may have aphrodisiac properties. The spice stimulates blood flow, which in turn can boost the sex drive in both men and women. And as a bonus, it can also reduce bad breath by nixing bacteria in the mouth, which will make you that much more kissable. Mwah!