February is the time to indulge in libido-enhancing food (found in the Indian kitchen) as it is the season of love, says Naini Setalvad
Maha-Shivratri, the day of Lord Shiva and Parvati, falls on the 21st of this month. Parvati is the goddess of fertility and the love that she shared with her consort was pure and passionate. Interestingly, Valentine’s Day, a day celebrated all over the world as the day of love, falls on the 14th of this month too. February is undoubtedly the month of love and love is definitely in the air!
Not only does this month celebrate love, but the foods savoured as part of the festivities encourage romance and a healthy libido. I really think there is no better way to show your love than to feed your loved ones with food which are good for their health and mood!
I am sure you are thinking that your budget is going to go overboard with expensive, exotic foods to enhance the atmosphere of love. But there’s no cause for concern as the Indian household is stocked with simple food which can help set the right mood for you and your partner. So let me share with you how you can simply include these in your daily diet and also add that extra dose of love for the special occasion!
• Strawberries: This bright, red, heart-shaped fruit is abundant in this season. It is rich in antioxidants and will keep you looking and feeling young. Strawberries contain several minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and folate which aid in making one’s mood pleasant. In addition, strawberries have Vitamin C which promotes blood flow throughout the body, thus leaving you feeling lively.
• Bananas: Everyone’s favourite fruit is a wonderful mood up-lifter, as eating bananas enhances your Vitamin B levels, thus converting carbohydrates into energy. High levels of natural fruit sugar present in bananas give long-lasting energy.
• Figs: Since ancient times, figs have been associated with fertility as they resemble the female sex organ. Fresh figs are great for prostate health and even contain minerals which are required for women’s sexual health.
• Roasted cocoa bites: My favourite way to get my cocoa fix is in the form of roasted cocoa bites. Cocoa contains serotonin, which improves your mood and decreases overall stress.
• Pumpkin Seeds: Snack on pumpkin seeds which are a true aphrodisiac. They are high in zinc and vitamin E, which is essential for healthy sperm production and prevents testosterone deficiency in men. These seeds are loaded with libido-enhancing vitamins and minerals. In women, they build hormones, activate sexual organs, and also increase sexual fluid secretions, thus preventing vaginal dryness.
• Saffron: Did you know that this spice which is used in a variety of Indian cuisine has a deeply calming and soothing effect on both the genders? Sipping on a saffron herbal infusion in warm water sweetened with honey leads to a peaceful you. This, along with the pleasing smell of saffron, will help set a calm mood for the night.
• Garlic: My advice is to toss garlic in your food as it helps in improving your overall sexual life. It is long known that garlic is an aphrodisiac, as it contains diallyl disulfide, a chemical component which increases testosterone levels in the body. It is also known to improve heart health by making your arteries clean.
• Tulsi: A common leaf found in Indian gardens, the tulsi plant is believed to increase sex drive and fertility. Vitamin A, C, K, iron, and magnesium are all found in this holy basil. These help in relaxing blood vessels, thus increasing blood circulation in the body.
• Ashwagandha: You might have heard of this herb when you were reading up on stories from ancient times. People would go searching for this herb in the hope of using its magical medicinal properties. Ashwagandha is known for many of its powerful properties, one of them being the cure for infertility. As a Valentine’s Day food, it increases testosterone levels and improves sperm quality. One can also have it daily.
I advise you to believe in the simple ‘K.I.S.S.’ method when it comes to choosing aphrodisiac foods: Keep It Simple Silly! We simply do not need to look anywhere but in our kitchens, as Indian foods can make your love life healthy.
1) Banana, Strawberry, and Cocoa bites smoothie
1 large banana
¼ cup ice cubes
½ teaspoon raw cocoa bites
1. Chop the strawberries into tiny squares.
2. Chop the bananas into tiny pieces.
3. Crush the ice cubes in a blender.
4. Add the chopped strawberries, bananas, and cocoa bites to the crushed ice cubes in the blender.
5. Blend well.
2) Saffron herbal tea
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp organic honey
2 to 3 strands saffron
2 cups of water
3–4 flakes of peeled chopped almonds
1. Boil all ingredients except almonds in water till the mixture comes to half of it’s consistency.
2. Garnish with almonds. Serve hot.
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