ATLANTA - January 25, 2010 - Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and this year many people are looking for ways to celebrate without breaking the bank. Those who are still in search of the perfect, yet practical, plan may want to consider spending the evening at home with a romantic meal -- chock-full of love-sparking aphrodisiacs.
"Though some scientists are skeptical of the 'power' of aphrodisiacs, there is some research suggesting that certain foods, herbs and other supplements do stimulate production of hormones or other chemicals that boost our libidos," said Conal Byrne, Editor-in-Chief, HowStuffWorks.com. "Therefore, those looking to tip the laws of attraction in their favor this Valentine's Day may not have to look any further than their kitchen cabinets."
So cancel the dinner reservations and put the bubbly back on the shelf. HowStuffWorks.com, the award-winning, unbiased online source for thousands of topics, has compiled some research on How Aphrodisiacs Workand is sharing the following list of foods that reportedly can help get things cooking this Feb. 14:
- Go Bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium and B vitamins, which are said to be necessary for sex-hormone production.
- Have a Thrill with Basil: For centuries, people said that basil stimulated the sex drive and boosted fertility while producing a general sense of well-being. Basil is one of the many reported aphrodisiacs that may also promote circulation.
- There's a Reason It's Called "Hot" Chocolate: Researchers have studied chocolate and found it to contain phenylethylamine and serotonin, which are both "feel good" chemicals. They occur naturally in the body and are released by the brain when a person feels happy or passionate.
- Honey is Right on the Money: Honey is rich in B vitamins (needed for testosterone production) as well as boron (which helps the body metabolize and use estrogen). Some studies have suggested that it may also enhance blood levels of testosterone.
- Light Her Fire with Papaya: Papaya has compounds that act similar to the female hormone, estrogen. As such, it has been used as a folk remedy to increase a woman's libido.
For a complete list of aphrodisiacs and more information on how they work, check out How Aphrodisiacs Work.
Not willing to rely solely on aphrodisiacs to get your partner in the mood this Valentine's Day, or still on the lookout for love? HowStuffWorks.com offers the following information for singles looking to improve their love lives in time for the big day:
- Some of the "female" signs of flirting, such as angling her body and sticking out her hips, are attempts to draw attention to her pelvis and its suitability for carrying a child. Learn to read other cues in How Flirting Works.
- Researchers have proven that women prefer men with immune system proteins that are different from their own, and scientists believe that a woman may be able to smell these proteins while kissing. This may affect whether she finds her partner attractive. More on the history, anatomy and effects of the kiss in How Kissing Works.
- A key to online dating success is knowing what you want and putting it in your profile. You'll get more responses from people who are looking for the same thing you are, whether you want to settle down with a long-term relationship or just want a date for Friday night. Additional tips in How On-Line Dating Works.
HowStuffWorks.com is an award-winning online resource that provides credible and easy-to-understand information and explanations for thousands of topics. The site has been recognized with multiple Webby Awards and has been prestigiously designated among Time Magazine's "25 Web Sites We Can't Live Without" and PC Magazine's "Top 100 Web Sites." In 2007, HowStuffWorks.com was acquired by Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK).