5 Best Foods to Boost Libido During Ovulation: Make that Baby, Baby!
Updated August 3, 2023.
Fertility is so much more than conception. It also reflects your overall health and well-being. Like fertility, libido is also a good barometer for overall wellness and vitality. Factors like diet, body weight, and genetics can affect libido.
Understanding when conception can and can't occur can enable you to know when it's possible to get pregnant if that's your goal. Your fertility window is comprised of the days leading up to and including your ovulation day, which is a period of approximately 6 days (5 days prior to ovulation day and 12 to 24 hours after ovulation).
Here, Ivy Joeva—fertility coach, doula, and birth educator—discusses how various natural aphrodisiacs can help with your libido and achieving your fertility goals.
Impact of Health on Libido
A simple way to support hormonal health is to maintain blood sugar balance. Managing blood sugar levels is important to hormonal health because erratic levels cause more cortisol secretion, which competes with hormones like progesterone and testosterone.
Many women have estrogen dominance—depleted progesterone and too much estrogen. This is where nutrition can support fertility. A healthy diet can help you eliminate endocrine-mimicking toxins. Also, healthy fats and balanced macronutrients play a role in hormone production.
Some factors to consider to help ensure your diet is balanced are:
- Food sourcing: Desertification (a typical result of industrial agriculture) strips the soil of its nutrients. By prioritizing locally-made, fresh produce, you're still getting fertility-friendly superfoods that are full of phytonutrients, which promote good health.
- Gut microbiome: Toxic chemicals, like pesticides and the overuse of antibiotics, can deplete the healthy bacteria in your gut, impeding digestion and reducing nutrient absorption. A healthy gut is one of the foundational pillars of good health and fertility.
- Food variety: A diet rich in plant foods gives you the variety of prebiotic fibers you need to feed a diversity of healthy gut bacteria. Varied plant-based foods offer different fibers that nourish the strains of probiotics needed for your gut microbiome to thrive.
» Find out the top tips for preconception
5 Best Foods to Boost Libido During Ovulation
- Dark Chocolate
There are not a set number of specific foods that are aphrodisiacs. Any plant foods vibrant in color, including dark greens, bright reds, purples, yellows, and oranges are rich in phytonutrients that support fertility and sex drive. And to help improve your chances of pregnancy, it's important to include a good variety of these foods daily at each meal.
Some examples of foods you can enjoy during ovulation to help boost libido include:
Oysters are high in zinc, which supports healthy testosterone levels. Men and women rely on testosterone for libido, and balanced sex hormones support fertility.
But do oysters get you in the mood? "Since zinc helps modulate dopamine, which increases sexual desire, eating oysters can help get you excited about sex," Joeva explains.
Watermelon is good for fertility and egg quality since it contains glutathione, which boosts egg quality. This fruit also has citrulline, which converts into the amino acid arginine in our bodies. Arginine promotes blood flow, which enhances sexual arousal and satisfaction.
Watermelon's high water content also increases sex drive. Hydration can help prevent poor blood circulation and vaginal dryness, which can hamper libido.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate enhances our body's production of serotonin, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. This feel-good chemical—in addition to dopamine—can increase your sexual desire.
Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, which can help counteract oxidative stress. This type of stress can deplete testosterone, so dark chocolate may indirectly support testosterone levels. The theobromine in chocolate also has a stimulating effect, which can further increase pleasure.
"Pomegranates are a star when it comes to antioxidants," says Joeva. They boost blood flow to the uterus which helps maintain a healthy uterine lining. Pomegranates also have a more direct sensorial impact on sexual desire. On the level of our senses, our bodies connect with messages from nature.
Pomegranates are also a metaphorical representation of fertility. Its juice resembles menstrual blood, and when you open the fruit, the abundance of seeds resembles the multitude of eggs in an ovary. So, pomegranates allow you to sense desire with your eyes, taste, and touch.
Almonds are a great libido-boosting snack that helps balance your blood sugar. They're high in vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. Plus, almonds are an aphrodisiac full of healthy fats to assist with the production of sex hormones and boost sexual desire.
As a good source of magnesium, they also help lower high blood pressure. This is especially important if you have chronic hypertension, which can lower egg quality and make conception more challenging.
Other Fertility-Friendly Foods
Have fun making your own superfoods list when trying to conceive based on your preferences. A few more ideas include:
- Avocados: These are high in monosaturated fats, which, according to this study, can increase your chances of conception for women undergoing IVF treatments. These pregnancy-safe libido boosters for females also contain magnesium and boron, which have a positive impact on testosterone levels.
- Sweet potatoes: "These are one of my favorite foods, and they're a wonderful source of carbohydrates, beta-carotene, and potassium," says Joeva. Beta-carotene is used to make vitamin A in the body, which can facilitate reproduction and embryonic development after conception.
» Unsure about your ovulation days? Find out the reasons to start tracking ovulation
Monitor Your Fertility While Eating Right
"I recommend you check out your local farmer's markets and try new foods to help keep things fresh and exciting." By avoiding the instant gratification of processed, packaged foods that aren't especially helpful for vitality, libido, or fertility, you can improve your chances of conceiving.
To help you track your ovulation so you can plan intercourse around your fertility window, Tempdrop's fertility tracker is a great choice. It's flexible to use, so you can choose which cycle and health factors to analyze to help you meet your fertility goals.