By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
Even if you haven't settled on a Valentine's Day gift for your significant other (don't feel guilty, we haven't either), it's not too early to start planning your menu for February 14.
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According to registered dietitian Keren Gilbert, president and founder of Decision Nutrition, certain foods can be key to getting in a lovey-dovey mood, revving your sex drive and increasing your stamina.
Here are three surprising food items (no oysters!) that will make this your most "satisfying" V-Day yet.
We ♥ Chia Seeds
Why they work: According to Gilbert, chia seeds were originally used as energy-boosters by Mayan and Aztec running messengers, who would carry a pouch with them on long-distance deliveries. Clearly, that could translate between the sheets. Additionally, they're packed with omega 3's and 6's, protein, calcium, zinc (important to sexual fluids), fiber and antioxidants. All of this adds up to stamina, improved circulation and an increased ability for your body to feel stimulation. Hello there!
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Love potion: In the a.m., drop a handful into your (or your partner's) oatmeal, yogurt or shake (see recipe below). You can also add them to any kind of cake, quick bread, pancake or waffle batter the way you would add wheat germ. To work them into lunch or a dinner entree, sprinkle on a salad (a la sesame seeds), add to pasta sauces or garnish steamed veggies.
We ♥ Raw Cacao Powder
Why it works: "Chocolate has the ability to make you feel good, which explains why we all crave it," says Gilbert. "However, most chocolate we buy is cooked at high temps, loaded with sugar, saturated fat, hydrogenated oils and chemicals. Unadulterated and raw cacao is what we need for a love potion."
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According to Gilbert, cacao is naturally rich with antioxidants and fiber and is one of the highest dietary resources of magnesium and other minerals -- all of which provide energy. It also provides your brain with a feel-good chemicals as well as an endorphin that only exists in cacao.
Love potion: For a sweet, healthy treat, add it to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt or ricotta cheese. Or mix it with a cup of warm almond milk and a packet of Stevia for a guiltless, endorphin-pumping hot chocolate.
We ♥ Oat Bran
Why it works: OK, oats probably don't scream sexy, however, they are packed with zinc, which increases testosterone production -- key to revving your sex drive. In addition, the complex carbs are released slowly into your bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar stable for long-lasting energy. "You'll feel passionate and sexy, and you can execute as well," says Gilbert.
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Love potion: Use it as an ingredient in baked goods including muffins, breads, pancakes and waffles. Do we smell breakfast in bed? For a main dish, add to burgers, meatballs or soup.
For the ultimate V-Day hit, brew up Gilbert's aphrodisiac smoothie, which includes all three ingredients.
- 2 Tbs chia seeds
- 2 Tbs organic cacao powder
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- Stevia to sweeten
Throw everything in a blender, give a quick spin and feel the love.
Which foods get you in the mood?
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio