Valentine’s Day is the annual celebration of romance.  What better way to celebrate than with foods that are not only good for you but also tasty and can enhance romance. Per Grace O, founder of the healthy food website, FoodTrients, and author of Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World, there are several categories of foods that qualify as “romantic,” or enhance a romantic moment.
First, and obviously, are the ones that resemble parts of the anatomy associated with sex and love like bananas, asparagus and avocados (think about it). Or moist, voluptuous foods like oysters and figs.
Then there are the foods that provide so much nutrition and feeling of well-being, that they contribute to one’s libido. Dark chocolate is the leader in this category. And surprisingly, watermelon and chilies. All these foods have admirable nutrition as well as endorphins that can create a sense of euphoria.
Here are some of the foods identified by FoodTrients and the properties and benefits that make them suited to setting the scene for romance for Valentine’s Day or any time you want to create a romantic mood:
 Almonds – Throughout antiquity, almonds were synonymous with fertility. The aroma of almonds  supposedly aroused passion in women, according to ancient poets and writers.
 Artichokes – Tough on the outside but tender at  the very center, Greek mythology says Zeus was responsible for the artichoke’s creation. After being rejected by a beautiful young woman, the god turned his object of affection into a thorny and difficult thistle. In the 16th Century, women were not allowed to eat artichokes.
 Asparagus – Herbalists in the 14th century believed  that asparagus “stirs up lust in man and woman.” It’s suggested that French bridegrooms in the 19th century were served asparagus at their prenuptial dinners.
 Chili peppers – Well known to trigger endorphins that can raise your energy, boost your mood, and give you a natural high, that’s due to capsaicin, a compound within chilis that can stimulate blood flow and increase the heart rate, as well as invigorate your metabolism.
 Chocolate – Especially the dark kind, has been proven to increase production of dopamine, commonly known as the “pleasure chemical.” Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a compound that releases the same endorphins we experience during sex. For best results, go for 70% dark chocolate.
 Figs – Figs have been a symbol of passion and fertility for thousands of years. They are sweet, delectable and can help promote healthy digestion. Their fiber content may also help manage blood glucose levels.
 Ginger – The National Library of Medicine reports that fresh-cut ginger is an effective nervous system and circulatory stimulant. Gingerol is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory chemical, which contributes to ginger’s health benefits.
Try this romantic and delicious recipe that FoodTrients recommends to heat up your Valentine’s Day as well as your health.
Chocolate Chili Fondue
Serves 2
The unexpected heat of the chili in the rich chocolate is unforgettable!
½ cup double cream
½ small, fresh red chili, seeded and finely minced
6 oz. dark chocolate (70% cacao)
¼ lb. fresh strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
½ papaya, cut into spears or chunks
1 tangerine, peeled and segmented
Top of FormBottom of Form
  1. Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Peel the other fruit and cut into small chunks or slices and arrange on a plate.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces. In a small, thick-bottomed fondue pot or over a double boiler), heat the cream until it is about to boil. Remove from heat and leave for a minute. Add the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate has melted completely and you have a thick, creamy liquid. Add in the red chili. If the chocolate doesn’t fully melt, place the fondue pot (or double boiler) over low heat, but do not allow mixture to boil as this will cause it to curdle.
  3. At the table, place the fondue pot over a low flame and stir chocolate every so often to keep the mixture smooth. Feed each other mouthfuls of chocolate-dipped fruit and enjoy the mild burning sensation of the chili-infused chocolate, of course.
Recipe reprinted with permission of
grace o author"Over a span of 30 years, Grace O has built an impressive record of business achievement, community building, philanthropy, and community service in California. Guided by her spirit of entrepreneurship and building on a model of generosity learned from her family, Grace has spent a lifetime helping people heal through food and medicine. In 2011, Grace combined her entrepreneurial skills, her passion for the culinary arts, and her commitment to health by launching a new culinary brand, FoodTrients®, a non-profit website and cookbooks dedicated to the nutrients in foods that help prevent the diseases of aging. She is also the author of two award-winning cookbooks—The Age GRACEfully Cookbook: The Power of FOODTRIENTS to Promote Health and Well-being for a Joyful and Sustainable Life and The Age Beautifully Cookbook: Easy and Exotic Longevity Secrets from Around the World.  In 2022 she released her third cookbook, Anti-Aging Dishes from Around the World.
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