VALENTINE'S Day has arrived and one way to capture the loving feeling is with foods which are tried and tested aphrodisiacs.

Aphrodisiacs are named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. They are foods and drink that contain natural properties to aid relaxation, heighten the senses and put people in the mood for romance.

Oysters are probably the most well-known aphrodisiac but there are plenty of other, perhaps surprising, foods to raise the romantic mood.

Coffee awakens the senses while chocolate has the added bonus of containing phenylethlamine. This is a natural stimulant that promotes feelings of excitement and a general sense of well-being.

For over 500 years, leafcutter ants have been used by romantics in Columbia, their high protein count helps heighten arousal.

In Arabic folk medicine, Ambrein is a substance found in sperm whales and has been scientifically proven to increase male virility.

Avocados are the super-food of the moment, they contain folic acid, vitamin B9 and B6 which is known to increase male testosterone levels.

Chilli peppers bring tongue nerve endings to life and are known to release adrenaline to increase excitement.

Asparagus is a cooler option and simple to incorporate into a tasty meal, it is known to increase blood flow for heightened sensitivity.