Feeding romance


Feeding romance

There is a very strong link between what we eat and how we feel, not just in terms of our physical wellbeing but also energy and stress levels, hormones and brain chemistry. Eating certain foods has been scientifically proven to make people feel more attractive and increase desire. Here we examine the properties of a few firm favourites.

The sweet taste of love

The reason chocolate is so closely associated with romance isn’t just because of its delicious taste. It is also a natural aphrodisiac containing a host of compounds including anandamide, the psychoactive feel-good chemical. PEA (phenylethylamine), better known as ‘the love chemical’, releases dopamine in the pleasure centres of the brain, inducing feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, a key component of the neurotransmitter serotonin known to promote a sense of well-being and relaxation.

To really get the full benefit of including chocolate as a sweet treat in your date night, choose a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa.

Feeling spicy

To really impress your date with your culinary skills, add some garlic and chillies to your main course. Not only will they add flavour but chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical that induces the release of endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of euphoria. Garlic is full of allicin, an ingredient that will increase blood flow and attraction. The combination of the two in the same meal is sure to heat up your evening.


Avocados are a good source of bone supportive vitamin K as well as heart-healthy dietary fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folate. Avocados are also a good source of energy. They produce vitamin B5 and are higher in potassium than a medium banana so will give you and your beloved plenty of staying power.

Avocados are available all year round but these plump fruits need to be chosen when they are at the perfect point of ripeness. The best way to gauge this is to hold it in your hand and give them a gentle squeeze. A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it was probably tree ripened and will have better flavour.

A taste of home

To stimulate warm feelings of romance, feed your date something which reminds them of home. Their national dish, if they’re from a different state or country, or a dish they told you they loved when they were young. The internet is a great resource for free recipes, tips and culinary secrets, so don’t let your own lack of knowledge of national dishes put you off having a go at something new.

Whatever is on the menu, serving it with soft music, candles, a warm smile and your undivided attention will get you both in the mood for romance.

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