Foods that Put You in the Mood
From boosting immunity to aiding digestion and even influencing our libido, the importance of a healthy gut microbiome cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, it can be easy to let our microbiome take a backseat in our health concerns — until we start noticing changes in our libidos.
The connection between the gut microbiome and your sex drive is a complicated one, but it’s worth exploring if you’re having issues. Your gut flora is responsible for everything from immunity to digestion and even libido, so it's important to pay attention to its needs.1
When it comes to nourishing your body for better performance in the bedroom, the best bet is to eat according to your personalized nutrition plan.2 What revs up one body, can slow another down. Once you have that insight, there are certain foods that are purported to help get your gut microbiome — and libido — back on track.
Fruits like strawberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins C and K for hormone balance. Other natural aphrodisiacs include dark chocolate, avocado, honey, pumpkin seeds and chili peppers.3 Here are a few feisty and tasty recipes to mix up your meal plan for your next romantic meal.
Start your day off right with this delightful rose latte. This aromatic drink combines the sweet and earthy aroma of rose petals with creamy almond milk and a hint of cardamom, making it a perfect treat to start your morning or to enjoy in the afternoon. Not only is it delicious, but it's also packed full of healthy nutrients that help keep you energized throughout the day.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons dried rose petals
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until steaming hot (do not bring to a boil).
Strain the mixture into a mug and enjoy!
This strawberry pasta dish is the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. Bright, juicy strawberries are balanced out with earthy arugula and tossed with a creamy avocado sauce. Not only is this dish delicious, it's also full of nutrition.
8 oz whole wheat spaghetti
2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
1 cup baby arugula
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions in a large pot. Drain and set aside when done cooking.
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, arugula, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice and mix until evenly coated. Set aside.
In a small food processor or blender, combine the avocado with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth and creamy (add more water if needed).
Place the cooked spaghetti back into the same pot and add in the strawberry mixture along with the avocado sauce. Mix everything together until combined. Serve warm or cold as desired!
Feisty Fig & Cucumber Salad
This salad is the perfect mixture of health, flavor, and romance! Sliced pear and figs are combined with curled cucumbers, tangy cheese, and a zesty dill with a drizzle of olive oil, lime and honey to make for a delicious and nutritious dish.
1 pear sliced
2 dried figs, halved
Chunks of goat cheese
1 large cucumber, sliced
½ teaspoon of poppyseed
Course pepper to taste
For the dresssing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon honey
On a plate display the pears, figs, cucumbers and drizzle the dressing. Add the goat cheese and the dill, and add course pepper and poppy seeds to taste.
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and honey to create the dressing. Drizzle over the salad ingredients and mix until everything is coated in the dressing.
Serve while fresh and enjoy.
Hot Dipped Chocolate Strawberries
This flavorful and healthy dessert combines the sweetness of fresh strawberries with the richness of dark chocolate, all finished off with a hint of heat from chili pepper. Perfect for a special occasion or just a treat!
1 pint fresh strawberries
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground chili pepper
Place the dark chocolate and olive oil in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir until completely melted. Add the ground chili pepper and stir until combined.
Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate mixture to coat halfway up the fruit. Gently shake away any excess liquid.
Sprinkle each strawberry with a pinch of chili pepper for added flavor and texture.
Place dipped strawberries on parchment paper to allow them to cool and set before serving. Enjoy!
Timum K, Elinav E. Uncovering the gut-libido axis: insights from the human microbiome [published online ahead of print October 21, 2020]. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020;8:341. doi:10.3389/fcell.2020.00341
Ramanathan K et alm Role of gut microbiota on sexual function and libido in humans: a narrative review of literature and directions for future research studies Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019;16(23):4890 doi:10
Planta Medica Study [published online ahead of print October 21, 2020]. “In Vivo Oestrogenic and Aphrodisiac Activity of Strawberry Leaf Extract”. Planta Medica 81 (2015), 672-673. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1399821