Little-Known Aphrodisiacs to Get You in the Mood

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1. Pine Nut
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1. Pine Nut
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Once prescribed by ancient Arabic doctors for their reported powers, pine nuts are high in zinc, a mineral known to enhance male endurance. This savory dish of pine nut and rosemary-crusted lamb is the perfect main course to any meal. Or bake pine nuts into cookies and dip them into coffee for a dessert treat.

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istock/ristensen

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2. Figs
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2. Figs
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Ripe, fresh figs, with their delicate texture, carry a more floral taste than any dried nugget. Figs are commonly devoured fresh with some drizzled balsamic vinegar, or try this romantic twist with a fig and chocolate tart.

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sxc.hu/grafiker

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3. Ginger
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3. Ginger
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It’s no secret that ginger has medicinal qualities that enable it to be a sexy food. This sharp-scented root eases circulation and allows blood to flow easily to all areas of the body. Ginger is commonly used in stir-fries and Asian cuisine, and this garlic ginger bok choy recipe is a perfect side dish for any meal.

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sxc.hu/Jeff1980

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4. Basil
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4. Basil
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Legend has it that wives once used basil as a body powder to keep their men from leaving them — basil’s aroma gives this plant its sensual qualities. Its scent enchants the mind with fresh, crisp, and clean flavors, reminding us of those warm, summer meals. These shortcakes with lemon basil cream make for a light and airy dessert that will entice the senses.

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Flickr/Ilovemypit

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5. Avocado
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5. Avocado
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The Aztecs believed this fruit to be an aphrodisiac due to its tree's phallic shape. The avocado offers a buttery texture and is an enticing addition to a sandwich or salad. This modest fruit can also be indulged in as a refreshing silky soup appetizer.

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sxc.hu/brybs

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6. Chiles
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6. Chiles
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These powerful peppers are known for getting our blood rushing, heart pumping, and pores sweating (plus, they boost our metabolism). It’s no surprise that chilies can add a little spice to our love lives, too. Add some flare to your meal with these spicy short ribs.

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sxc.hu/muffet1

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7. Artichoke
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7. Artichoke
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An artichoke’s tough exterior takes patience and a delicate touch to unravel. Many find the act of plucking the thorn-edged leaves to get to the velvety center to be a playful act, and one that can be shared with a partner. Just like some lovers, this aphrodisiac can play hard to get. Pick apart this flower and enjoy its leaves dipped in white wine butter.

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sxc.hu/Christgr

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8. Rosemary
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8. Rosemary
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Just like basil, rosemary attracts attention with its powerful scent. Used in medieval times by women in their bath water, it’s now commonly incorporated into captivating perfumes and makes wonderful additions to stews, soups, and roasts. These spicy rosemary nuts are sure to be a memorable beginning to your meal.

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Flickr/rdener_24

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9. Asparagus
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9. Asparagus
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Asparagus is often considered to be an aphrodisiac because of its suggestive shape. Filled with calcium, potassium, and vitamin E (aka the "natural sex vitamin"), these stalks were once consumed by French lovers before their weddings. This asparagus with Asian vinaigrette recipe is sure to make a great side dish.

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Flikr/rae_beam

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10. Grapes
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10. Grapes
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Before they became a staple for great glasses of wine, grapes were considered a sign of ecstasy and fertility. In ancient Greece, it was traditional to offer grape clusters to newlyweds to bless the couple with children. Ancient origin aside, the most sensual and powerful image of grapes is feeding them to your lover off a luscious vine. If you don't have a vine handy, this five-spiced duck breast recipe offers a novel twist for eating the lusty fruit.

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sxc.hu/nkzs

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11. Lavender
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11. Lavender
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Flowers say what people sometimes cannot — red roses communicate love, while a spontaneous and colorful bouquet shouts joy and happiness. The exotic scent of jasmine and the delicate freshness of lavender boost our passion and well-being. Not familiar cooking with floral scents? Try a simple lavender cheesecake for that happy ending to any meal.

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Flikr/catchpole