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The Aphrodisiac Menu

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If lockdown has left your relationship a little lacking in the romance department, then don’t fret you are absolutely not alone. In fact when we surveyed 1,504 British adults in the New Year, we discovered that almost two thirds (64%) reported a diminished sex drive over the past 6 months. 

Considering the ongoing situation we find ourselves in, it’s completely natural to be feeling less than sexy - stress levels are high, we’re spending more time with our partners than ever before and there’s not a lot of stimulation in everyday life (Groundhog everyday right?). All of these factors will contribute to a lower sex drive, but not all is lost! If you want to experiment with some new flavours in the kitchen for a home-cooked Aphrodisiac meal, then there are a few ingredients you can include that are scientifically proven to boost yours and your partner’s libido. 

Our nutritionists have collated the ultimate aphrodisiac menu, that contains vegan-friendly options, starters, mains and desserts, so you have the flexibility to pick and choose meals that suit your tastes and preferences. 

Nutrition really is medicine, and there’s no reason you can’t use it to help relight the spark in your bedroom!

- Starters - 

Homemade cured salmon with pink peppercorns

Get the full recipe here

Desire begins in the brain, and what better way to support brain health than including some super-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in your Aphrodisiac meal? Oily fish such as salmon is an excellent source. One of the key components of omega-3 fatty acids is DHA, which makes up 15% of the fats in the brain, as well as 50% of the fats in the retina in our eyes – all the better to see your date!

Beetroot carpaccio with walnuts, thyme and feta (or vegan alternative)

Get the full recipe here

Beetroot is a natural vasodilator – meaning it can help to boost levels of nitric oxide in the blood, improving blood flow and normalising blood pressure[1] [2]. Healthy blood flow to the reproductive organs may help with both male and female libido [3].

Stuffed portobello mushrooms with halloumi and garlic

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Vitamin-D enriched mushrooms are a great way to get your dietary vitamin D during the dark winter months. Vitamin D is crucial in helping your body produce the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine [4] - one of the chemical messengers released during orgasm.

The beneficial compound allicin found in garlic has also been shown to support blood flow [5] and so is praised for its aphrodisiac qualities – just make sure your partner is on the same page about the smell!

- Mains -

Coconut and chickpea curry (vegan)

Get the full recipe here

Flavour a curry with the spice fenugreek – this medicinal seed has been studied for its ability to support healthy testosterone levels in men – one study concluded improvements in libido, muscle strength, energy and well-being [6].

The addition of brown rice is a great source of fibre, to support stable blood sugar levels and therefore maintain balanced energy levels for longer.

Seafood Paella

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Seafood like mussels, prawns and squid are some of the highest food sources of zinc. This mineral supports healthy testosterone levels in both men and women, a key hormone for libido. A deficiency in zinc can also impair our sense of smell – and with pheromones being an important part of arousal [7] this may also affect sexual function.

Paella also includes the delicious, medicinal spice saffron from the Crocus flower. It has been studied in relation to increasing both male [8] and female desire [9], possibly due to its many antioxidant compounds.

Cheese fondue

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The ideal sharing platter – Gruyere and Emmenthal are great sources of vitamin A, which is required for production of all sex hormones, and it even supports healthy ovulation in women. Including crudites such as radishes, pepper and broccoli as well as sourdough bread provides additional fibre and phytonutrients.

Steak frites

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And the side-dish salad here

Steak is a classic Aphrodisiac meal, and good quality red meat is packed with minerals including iron and selenium, as well as B-vitamins such as vitamin B5 and B12, both essential for energy production.

Iron deficiency anaemia can cause reduced sexual function and satisfaction in women [10], and so it’s wise to ensure an adequate supply of iron in our daily diets. If fertility is a consideration, selenium is a potent antioxidant which protects our cells from free radical damage - it has been shown to improve sperm motility [11] and morphology[12] in studies.

The addition of a generous watercress salad boosts the nutrient content of the meal – with watercress being particularly high in nutrients such as vitamin K, calcium and magnesium.

- Desserts -

Fig clafoutis

Get the full recipe here

Although studies are yet to identify a clear link between figs and libido, they are traditionally praised for their aphrodisiac qualities, being high in fibre, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, copper and potassium.

Eggs are a source of the amino acid L-arginine, which helps to dilate blood vessels in both male and female reproductive organs [13].

Interestingly, vanilla has been shown in animal studies to have potential aphrodisiac properties [14]

Dark chocolate and walnut brownies with fresh raspberries (+ vegan option)

Get the full recipe here

Get the full recipe here (vegan option)

Cocoa is well-known for its powerful antioxidant properties; its high-flavonoid content studied for its beneficial effects on mood and cognition, having possible anti-depressant effects [15]. A study found that young women consuming chocolate regularly had higher desire scores than those who did not eat it [16]. Dark chocolate has the highest polyphenol content so aim to use 70% cocoa and above!

Walnuts provide an additional plant-source of omega-3 fatty acids.


Get the full recipe here

Caffeine is a well-known energy boosting tonic, and research suggests caffeine may support male sexual function [17]. The richness of this dessert means even a small portion will satisfy any sweet cravings.

Nutrition References & Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707742/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245587/

[3] https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/beet-juice-for-ed#health-benefits

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4875352/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC139960/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21312304/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987372/

[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29881706/

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23280545/

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6283628/

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11545288/

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6247182/

[13] https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/134/10/2873S/4688590

[14] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0975357512800113

[15] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612001405

[16] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16681473/

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412629/

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About the author
Katie Hipwell - Katie is an AfN Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with a specialism in food and is Head of Nutrition at Feel. Katie has worked in the food supplement industry for 10 years. She has completed a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and an undergraduate degree in BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition.
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