Can’t Help Falling in Love: Plant-Based Aphrodisiacs to Make Your Summer Even Hotter

Featured Image “Aphrodisiacs” by Grace Cardinale. 2021
Aphrodisiacs have been a part of human culture for hundreds of years. These romance-enhancing foods may seem ordinary, but their nutrients, taste, and even shape can have a unique effect on human sensuality.

Just in time for summer, we teamed up with Lillian Zeltser, also known as the Aphrodisiac Expert, to learn more about the history and effectiveness of some plant-based aphrodisiac foods you can indulge in. After all, our sexual health is just as important as our nutritional health!

Lillian is a successful author, speaker, and entrepreneur who has spent more than 3 decades researching and experimenting with aphrodisiacs all over the world. Once a skeptic of their effectiveness herself, she now spends her time sharing her aphrodisiac knowledge with the world. She believes that aphrodisiacs have been a part of human culture for so long because their effects truly go far beyond just our sex lives.
Lillian Zeltser poses in a red blazer with her hands raised and smiling
Photo by Evelyn Carmel Ze
“Aphrodisiacs are NOT just the boosters for enhancing love making – the natural substances can help to improve the quality of our lives through their impact on our behavior and lifestyle, creativity, passion, relationships and even levels of happiness and pleasure that we experience!” says Lillian. “Aphrodisiacs provide to our bodily systems those active elements, which are necessary for support and maintenance of healthy libido.”

Lillian strongly believes in the connection between a healthy libido and our overall mental and physical health. She encourages everyone to give aphrodisiacs a try and find one that nourishes your own body, mind, and emotions.

“I believe that while there is no particular aphrodisiac that exists on Earth which can work equally well for everyone, there’s definitely one that will work for every individual!” Lillian shared.

3 Aphrodisiac Foods You’ll Love


Some historians believe that the fig originated in the Garden of Eden and was the real forbidden fruit, making figs a historical symbol of temptation that goes back thousands of years. Adam and Eve also used the fruit’s leaves to cover their naked bodies. The many seeds of the fig also represent fertility in some cultures.

On a more scientific note, figs contain nutrients like fiber and iron to keep your heart healthy and fight fatigue so that you can stay awake late into the night. 


halved purple figs facing up in a circular dish with other fruits

Chili Peppers

The taste of heat is congruent with the feeling of passion for many, since our body’s response to spicy food is the rise of body temperature and a faster heart rate. Sitting as high as 2,000,000 units on the Scoville heat scale, chili peppers definitely bring the passion!

Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is also linked to boosting testosterone and libido. This veggie will definitely spice up your sex life!

wooden dish of whole fresh red chili peppers

Maca Root

Maca root is a beet-like vegetable native to Peru and is often consumed as a concentrated powder. Maca contains fatty acids, zinc, and iodine-nutrients that have been shown in scientific studies to increase arousal and sexual desire.

Some preliminary studies have shown that maca root supplements may increase libido in men, combat erectile dysfunction, increase sperm count, and relieve symptoms for menopausal women! 

If you consider consuming maca root, consult your doctor before any supplementation and ensure that it is sustainably sourced from Peru.

maca root slices drying on a bamboo tray

So, which of these plant based aphrodisiacs are you going to try? Share your recipes on Instagram and tag us, @cookandculture!


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Olivia deGregory

Written by Sadie Zollinger