3 Valentine’s Day treats that aren’t a box of chocolate
The chemistry of love
Falling in love may seem like a mystery of the heart, but in fact, an array of che- micals and hormones are at play. Accor- ding to scientists, there are three catego- ries of romantic love: lust, attraction and attachment. Each of these categories is governed by its own cocktail of hor- mones and chemicals. LUST Testosterone and estrogen fuel lust, or the desire for sexual gratification. While it’s typically considered a male hor- mone, testosterone increases libido for just about everyone. This effect is less prominent with estrogen, but many wo- men report being more aroused around the time they ovulate, when the hor- mone’s levels are highest. ATTRACTION High levels of dopamine and nore- pinephrine are at play in the initial stages of a romantic relationship. Dopamine is released when we do something that makes us feel good, in this case, spen- ding time with someone. Nore- pinephrine, which also plays a part in the fight or flight response, makes us feel more alert and nervous.
feel giddy, euphoric and energetic. They may also cause a decrease in appetite or the inability to sleep. ATTACHMENT Oxytocin and vasopressin are the hor- mones that make us feel connected and attached to another person. Together, they help people bond to one another and induce a desire to create a long- term, monogamous relationship. The chemistry of love is complex and fas- cinating. Thankfully, understanding the forces at play makes it no less meaning- ful.
Are you hoping to spoil your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day with something other than a box of chocolates? If so, here are some less common but equally decadent options that are sure to please and delight. 1. CANDIED FRUIT Candied fruit isn’t just delicious in fruit cakes. It’s also great on its own or dipped in chocolate. Citrus fruits like oranges, le- mons and grapefruits are common, but al- most anything can be turned into a sweet, sticky treat. Try candied pineapple, cher- ries or even ginger for a spicy twist. 2. PASTRIES Pastries are the perfect treat to surprise a loved one with on Valentine’s Day. Though you may consider baked goods better suited to breakfast, rolls, pies and tarts are
just as delicious for dessert. Some good choices include eclairs, cinnamon buns, cupcakes, fruit-filled danishes and crois- sants of all kinds. 3. ANYTHING CHOCOLATE-DIPPED Chocolate-dipped strawberries are a clas- sic, but almost any food can be made extra- vagantly delicious by coating it in choco- late. Indeed, fruits of all kinds can be used, as can nuts, pretzels, cookies and even cof- fee beans. And when you consider the many different kinds of chocolate available, the possible combinations are almost endless. With an array of options out there, you’re sure to find the perfect Valentine’s Day deli- cacy to treat that special someone.
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Together, these chemicals make people
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