What To Eat During Ovulation: The BEST Ovulatory Phase Foods, Recipes + Tips For Hormone Balance (2024)

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NEED A CYCLE SYNCING PLAN WITH DELICIOUS RECIPES TO BALANCE HORMONES? CHECK OUT MY 28-DAY HORMONE BALANCE RESET PLAN. WHAT IS THE OVULATORY PHASE? WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE OVULATORY PHASE BENEFITS OF EATING FOR YOUR OVULATORY PHASE + OPTIMIZED OVULATION (FERTILITY BOOST) + FERTILE CERVICAL FLUID (FERTILITY BOOST) + BOOSTED GUT HEALTH/DIGESTION + EFFECTIVEESTROGEN METABOLISM + REDUCED ACNE& SKIN ISSUES + PREVENTS PMS AND PERIOD PAIN + DECREASED BLOAT/CONSTIPATION + SUPPORTS A HEALTHY METABOLISM + INCREASE IN FAT BURNING/NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS BEST FOODS TO EAT DURING YOUR OVULATORY PHASE + FOODS THAT SUPPORT VASCULAR HEALTH + CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES + LIVER SUPPORTIVE FOODS + GLUTATHIONE + ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS + SELENIUM-RICH FOODS + FERMENTED + PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS + FIBER RICH FOODS + MAGNESIUM RICH FOODS + PHYTOESTROGENS *IF YOU DON’T HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE* OVULATORY PHASE DIET + EATING TIPS + INCORPORATE MORE FRESH + RAW FOODS + TRY A RAW CARROT SALAD + LOOK INTO SEED CYCLING + ADD IN PROBIOTIC + HERBAL SUPPORT BEST OVULATORY PHASE RECIPES + MEAL IDEAS BEST OVULATORY PHASE BREAKFAST RECIPES BEST OVULATORY PHASE DINNER + LUNCH RECIPES BEST OVULATORY PHASE DESSERT + SNACK RECIPES FOODS TO AVOID DURING YOUR OVULATORY PHASE + HEAVY, RICH + SALTY FOODS + TOO MUCH CAFFEINE/ALCOHOL BOTTOMLINE MORE OVULATORY PHASE TIPS +CYCLE SYNCING FOOD CHART + GUIDE +SEED CYCLING CHART, RECIPES + TIPS +FERTILITY BOOSTING FOODS + RECIPES Spinach Berry Salad + Goat Cheese, Maple Glazed Almonds & Poppyseed Dressing Ingredients Instructions Notes

If you’re a woman in your reproductive years, your body goes through four distinct hormonal fluctuations every month (also known as thefour phases of your menstrual cycle).

These changes affect literally everything else going on in our bodily systems and biology, from our energy levels to our metabolism to our body temperature and brain function….and each shift relies on specific macro and micronutrients to support it.

This is why food is such a powerful tool, as it not onlypowers hormone production and regulation, but can make all the difference in how we feel and experience each phase of our menstrual cycle as a result, ultimately helping us mitigate and completely reverse hormonal imbalance symptoms such as pms, period pain,fertility challenges, weight gain,bloat, fatigue andacne.

While eating a wide variety of nutrients to support each phase of the menstrual cycle is important, this post is focusing on the ovulatory phase, which is your fertile window that happens midway through your cycle (making it an optimal phase to focus on if you’re trying to conceive!).

So let’s get started, with what to eat during ovulation to help you naturally balance your hormones, boost fertility and feel your best. Snag all of the details below!

NEED A CYCLE SYNCING PLAN WITH DELICIOUS RECIPES TO BALANCE HORMONES? CHECK OUT MY 28-DAY HORMONE BALANCE RESET PLAN.


WHAT IS THE OVULATORY PHASE?

The ovulatory phase is one ofthe four phases of a menstrual cycle. It typically begins midway through your cycle, when a surge of luteinizing hormone, LH, causes the dominant follicle in your ovaries to burst open and release an egg into the fallopian tube, where it waits to be potentially fertilized by sperm (aka this is your fertile window where conception can take place).


WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE OVULATORY PHASE

Ovulation typically occurs somewhere between days 12-17 of your menstrual cycle and is short, usually only lasting 2-3 days. Right before ovulation, you get a surge of luteinizing hormone, LH, which causes the dominant follicle to burst open and release an egg into the fallopian tube. The egg will be viable for roughly 12-24 hours, and if it’s not fertilized by sperm (which can live up to five days in the female body), it will disintegrate.

Hormonally, levels of estrogen and testosterone are at their peak during this phase, helping you feel magnetic, energetic, outgoing, confident and sexy while optimizing your creativity and communication skills. Your libido is running high, in order to naturally get you in the mood during your fertile window and attract a mate with “genetic potential.”

Physically, your uterine lining continues to thicken in preparation for a potential pregnancy, while your cervix opens and starts producing wetter quality cervical fluid (similar to the consistency of egg whites), designed to help sperm travel and survive the long journey to the egg in order to conceive.


BENEFITS OF EATING FOR YOUR OVULATORY PHASE

Consuming specific macro and micronutrients during your ovulatory phase works to support cyclical hormonal fluctuations, helping your body keep peaking estrogen levels in check and providing it with the energy it needs to release an egg. Not only that, but because ovulation is often considered the most vital part of your cycle, it lays the foundation to optimize your biology for the phases that follow, mitigating uncomfortable symptoms and empowering you to feel your best the rest of your menstrual cycle, leading to specific benefits including:

+ OPTIMIZED OVULATION (FERTILITY BOOST)

+ FERTILE CERVICAL FLUID (FERTILITY BOOST)

+ BOOSTED GUT HEALTH/DIGESTION

+ EFFECTIVEESTROGEN METABOLISM

+ REDUCED ACNE& SKIN ISSUES

+ PREVENTS PMS AND PERIOD PAIN

+ DECREASED BLOAT/CONSTIPATION

+ SUPPORTS A HEALTHY METABOLISM

+ INCREASE IN FAT BURNING/NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS


BEST FOODS TO EAT DURING YOUR OVULATORY PHASE

Due to the hormonal and biological fluctuations that take place during our ovulatory phase, it’s important to consume plenty of nutrients that support uterine lining growth, healthy liver function, regular bowel movements, effective estrogen metabolismandoptimized gut health, as well as have a naturally cooling effect on the body. See below for specific nutrient requirements, as well as the foods rich in said nutrients. *You’ll notice many of these foods overlap in nutrient categories, with multiple benefits to consuming!

+ FOODS THAT SUPPORT VASCULAR HEALTH

A healthy vascular system (also know as your circulatory system) is key to healthy ovarian function and egg quality, as well as ensuring once you ovulate your ruptured follicle seamlessly transitions into a corpus luteum that produces enough progesterone to sustain your menstrual cycle (and a healthy uterine lining if trying to conceive!) Some optimal foods to incorporate during ovulation for vascular support include:

  • + Olives/olive oil

  • + Wild Caught Salmon

  • + Oats

  • + Spinach (+ leafy greens)

  • + Berries (especially blueberries)

  • + Beets

  • + Pomegranate

  • + Citrus Fruits

  • + Tomatoes

  • + Ginger

+ CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

During ovulation, estrogen levels are at their peak, working to thicken your uterine lining in preparation for a potential pregnancy. While estrogen production is important during this phase, excess levels can lead to uncomfortable symptomslater on in your cycle such as period pain, pms, mood swings, weight gain, bloat and depression. Consuming cruciferous vegetables assists your body in safely eliminating anyexcess estrogen in order to keep levels in check and symptoms at bay the remainder of your cycle. Some optimal cruciferous vegetables to consume during ovulation include:

  • + Broccoli

  • + Cauliflower

  • + Cabbage

  • + Kale

  • + Brussels Sprouts

  • + Bok Choy

  • + Watercress

  • + Arugula

+ LIVER SUPPORTIVE FOODS

The liver plays a key role indetoxing estrogen, as it is tasked with repackaging any leftover estrogen not used by the body into an intestinal-friendly form that can exit the body via our bowels. If we have a sluggish, overburdened liver, the estrogen can sit in our intestines for too long and become reabsorbed, circulating the body and leading toexcess estrogen. Thus it’s important to support optimal liver function, especially during our ovulatory phase when estrogen peaks. Some optimal liver supportive foods include:

  • +Raw Carrot

  • + Beets

  • + Green Asparagus

  • + Dandelion Greens

  • + Broccoli Sprouts

  • + Cruciferous Veggies

  • + Citrus

  • + Leafy Greens

  • + Onion

  • + Garlic

  • + Turmeric

+ GLUTATHIONE + ANTIOXIDANT-RICH FOODS

Oxidative stress in our body tends to be high during ovulation, so eating a colorful, well-rounded diet rich in antioxidant loaded foods help to fight off free-radicals and support detoxification. Some optimal antioxidant and glutathione-rich foods to incorporate into your ovulatory phase include:

  • + Citrus

  • + Bell Peppers

  • + Berries (especially strawberries)

  • + Tomatoes

  • + Avocados

  • + Asparagus

  • + Okra

  • + Papaya

  • + Cruciferous Veggies

+ SELENIUM-RICH FOODS

Selenium is an essential mineral (especially important for thyroid health!) and a glutathione cofactor, meaning it’s needed in boosting glutathione levels (which support liver health and the elimination of excess estrogen). Some selenium-rich foods to incorporate during ovulation include:

  • + Grass-Fed Beef

  • + Organ Meats (if you’re not keen on these try taking in supplement form)

  • + Poultry

  • + Lamb

  • + Wild-Caught Fish

  • + Organic, Full Fat Cottage Cheese

  • + Brown Rice

  • + Brazil Nuts

+ FERMENTED + PROBIOTIC RICH FOODS

Fermented and probiotic-rich foods work tosupport our gut health, which also supports our estrobolome, a unique set of bacteria in our gut that specifically works to break down estrogen and eliminate it safely via the bowels. And you guessed it, one of the most impactful ways to help your gut with this important, hormone balancing task is through the consumption of fermented and probiotic rich foods, such as:

  • + Kimchi

  • + Sauerkraut

  • + Pickled Veggies

  • + Full-Fat Greek/Coconut Yogurt

  • + Organic, Non-GMO Miso

  • + Organic, Non-GMO Tempeh

+ FIBER RICH FOODS

One of the best ways to supportestrogen eliminationis by consuming enough dietary fiber, which helps flush excess estrogen safely via our bowls. Fiber helps draw water into the colon, adding bulk and softness to your stool, helping it pass more smoothly through the digestive tract and increasing transit time (aka bye bye constipation andbloat!) Some optimal fiber-rich foods to consume during your ovulatory phase include:

  • + Cruciferous Veggies

  • + Leafy Greens/Green Vegetables

  • + Artichokes

  • + GF Grains (quinoa, oats, millet, amaranth)

  • + Lentils

  • + Peas

  • + Berries

  • + Avocado

  • + Chia Seeds

  • + Flaxseed

+ MAGNESIUM RICH FOODS

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a key role in sex hormone production and regulation, working to increaseprogesterone levelsto support healthy ovulation and balance outestrogen to progesterone ratiosby supportingphase 2 estrogen elimination. Magnesium deficiency is also very common as lifestyle factors like chronic stress as well as caffeine and sugar consumption deplete it. Consuming magnesium-rich foods during your follicular and ovulatory phase (as well as the entirety of your menstrual cycle) will help to balance hormones and reduce uncomfortable symptoms. Below are a few of my favorite food sources:

  • + Nuts and Seeds

  • + Leafy Greens

  • + Tuna

  • + Shellfish

  • + Dark Chocolate

+ PHYTOESTROGENS *IF YOU DON’T HAVE ESTROGEN DOMINANCE*

Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that mimic the body’s natural estrogen production. While you wouldn’t want to consume these if you haveestrogen dominance, they can be beneficial to consume at the beginning of the follicular phase, when estrogen is lowest. If you don’t have problems with excess estrogen, below are the phytoestrogens I recommend consuming during your ovulatory phase:

  • + Flax Seeds

  • + Pumpkin Seeds

  • + Organic Non-GMO Soy Products


OVULATORY PHASE DIET + EATING TIPS

+ INCORPORATE MORE FRESH + RAW FOODS

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) your ovulatory phase is a “hot” phase of your cycle as your resting body temperature naturally rises. Opting for more fresh, raw vegetables and fruits during this phase (think leafy green salads, smoothies, crudités, fresh berries, etc.) has a natural cooling effect on the body, along with promoting optimal vascular support for your ovaries to create the healthiest egg possible due to the high level of antioxidants.

+ TRY A RAW CARROT SALAD

Speaking of raw foods, incorporating araw carrot salad into your ovulatory phase routine can be an awesome way to support your body in safely eliminating excess estrogen via our bowels (thanks to a unique dietary fiber). It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that work to supportoptimal gut health. You can grab my favoriteraw carrot salad recipes here.

+ LOOK INTO SEED CYCLING

The practice of rotating four different seeds (pumpkin, flax, sesame and sunflower) between the first and second half of our cycle phases alleges toregulate our hormones, therebyhelping to relieve PMS, reduce period pain,stimulate ovulation,increase fertilityand support the body in healing conditions such asPCOSandendometriosis. You canlearn more about seed cycling in this post.

+ ADD IN PROBIOTIC + HERBAL SUPPORT

Incorporating ahigh quality probiotic supplementinto your daily routine is an easy and beneficial way to support optimal gut health (this is the probiotic I’ve been taking for three years, use code SOFRESH15 to save) while adding in herbs such asnettle,oat strawandpeppermintwork to balance out estrogen levels, replenish minerals lost during the menstrual phase and balance out androgen levels (helps withacne) respectively. My favorite way to consume these herbs is via tea.


BEST OVULATORY PHASE RECIPES + MEAL IDEAS

BEST OVULATORY PHASE BREAKFAST RECIPES

+Gut Healthy Papaya Boat

+Blended Overnight Oats (3 Ways!)

+Healthy Copycat Wendy’s Frosty

+Healthy Shamrock Protein Shake

+Strawberries N’ Cream Parfait

+Maca Fertility Smoothie

+Dark Chocolate Avocado Fertility Smoothie

+Better Than Botox Green Smoothie

+Dark Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

+Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake Baked Oatmeal

+Gut-Friendly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

+Cherry Chia Pudding Parfait

+Summer Berry Baked Oats + Coconut Whipped Cream

+Easy Cinnamon Spinach Blender Pancakes

+Foolproof Chia Pudding Parfait

+Green Baby Makin’ Machine Smoothie

+Matcha Chocolate Chip Paleo Pancakes

+Seed Cycling S’mores Granola

+White Chocolate Macadamia Seed Cycling Granola

+ All Breakfast Recipes From Phase #3 of The Hormone Balance Reset Plan

BEST OVULATORY PHASE DINNER + LUNCH RECIPES

+ Baked Salmon Sushi Bowls

+ Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos

+Farm Salad + Honey Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

+Greek Chicken Quinoa Salad Bowls

+Hormone Balancing Roasted Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos

+Grilled Chicken + Veggie Chimichurri Bowls

+Turkey Avocado Burgers (a family favorite!)

+BLTA Caesar Salad Bowls

+Raw Carrot Salad For Hormone Balance

+Salmon Pesto Pasta

+Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

+Avocado Green Curry + Vegetables

+Maple Soy Glazed Brussels Sprouts

+Teriyaki Glazed Salmon

+Gut-Friendly Paleo Butter Chicken + Cauliflower Rice

+Maple Molasses Glazed Brussels Sprouts

+Chickpea Pesto Pasta Salad

+Watermelon Pistachio Mint Salad

+

+Grilled Miso Salmon + Avocado Salad

+Grilled Lamb Burgers + Harissa Aioli

+Pesto Zucchini Noodle Bowls + Grilled Chicken

+Heirloom Tomato, Nectarine + Basil Salad

+Grilled Chicken Caesar + Avocado Salad

+Next Level Grilled Artichokes

+ Honey Garlic Glazed Shrimp Bowls + Quick Cucumber Salad

+ Spinach Strawberry Salad + Goat Cheese & Poppyseed Dressing (recipe below)

+ All Dinner + Lunch Recipes From Phase #3 of The Hormone Balance Reset Plan

BEST OVULATORY PHASE DESSERT + SNACK RECIPES

+Healthy Copycat Butterfinger Blizzard

+Healthy Copycat Butterfinger Bars

+Gut-Friendly Oreo Cookie Blizzard

+Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

+Healthy Copycat Wendy’s Frosty

+Gut-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard

+Healthy Peanut Butter Protein Bar Recipe

+Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Muffins

+Fudgy Brownie Batter Hummus

+Seed Cycling Dark Chocolate Fudge Truffles

+Quick Summer Berry Tart

+Paleo Peach Cobbler

+Gut-Friendly Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

+Carrot Cake Bliss Balls

+Healthy Turmeric Deviled Eggs

+Superfood Guacamole + Jicama Dipping Fries

+Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

+Lemon Pie Dream Bars

+Coconut Energy Balls

+The Best Adrenal co*cktail Recipe

+ All Dessert + Snack Recipes From Phase #3 of The Hormone Balance Reset Plan


FOODS TO AVOID DURING YOUR OVULATORY PHASE

While I like to focus on adding in vs. taking away, limiting your intake of certain foods can work to support to hormones and therefore reduce uncomfortable symptoms. These are the top foods to limit/avoid during your follicular phase if possible.

+ HEAVY, RICH + SALTY FOODS

Because our metabolism and digestion is slower during the first half of our menstrual cycle (follicular and ovulatory phases), eating an abundance of heavy, rich or overly salty foods such as fried foods, casseroles, red meat, stews, processed baked goods and carbs (pastas, bread, etc.) can make us feel lethargic and slow down large intestine transit time (leading to constipation and bloat). Ultimately, you don’t need as many calories in this phase and will feel much better sticking to lighter meals and fresh, nutrient-rich foods easy to digest (see all listed above).

+ TOO MUCH CAFFEINE/ALCOHOL

Over consuming caffeine and alcohol impacts your hormones in a myriad of ways (burdening our liver,altering our gut microbiome, depleting micronutrients, destabilizing blood sugar), most often leading to imbalances such asestrogen dominanceor adrenal dysfunction. If you can’t imagine giving either up (zero judgement here!) try to minimize/reduce your intake or experiment with swaps (half-caff, decaf,mocktails, etc.)


BOTTOMLINE

One of the most effective ways we can support our hormones (thereby reducing uncomfortable symptoms) is throughconsuming a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods based on where we’re at in our menstrual cycle. I always encourage clients to start small, focusing on 1-2 shifts (i.e. eating more salads and smoothies during your ovulatory phase, or switching a side of fries for fresh fruit/veggies, etc.) to avoid feeling overwhelmed and continue adding in more from there. When in doubt, tune into your body and what feels good, and I think you’ll find you naturally crave foods ideal for each phase.


MORE OVULATORY PHASE TIPS

+CYCLE SYNCING FOOD CHART + GUIDE

+SEED CYCLING CHART, RECIPES + TIPS

+FERTILITY BOOSTING FOODS + RECIPES

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Spinach Berry Salad + Goat Cheese, Maple Glazed Almonds & Poppyseed Dressing

DF

GF

VG

This salad is not only insanely delicious, but the PERFECT meal or side to incorporate during ovulation, as it’s rich in antioxidants (including glutathione!), fiber, and nutrients that support optimal estrogen elimination, liver health and vascular support (hellllooo healthy egg + ovarian function). It’s also got a naturally cooling effect, perfect for summer and what TCM deems a “hot phase” of your cycle.

PREP TIME:

TOTAL TIME:

10 Mins

00:20 Mins

  • Author: Lauren Chambers

  • Servings: 4-6

  • Recipe Type: salad, side, entree

  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

For the Poppyseed Dressing:

For the Maple Glazed Almond Clusters:

For the Salad:

  • 1-2 cups spinach (single serving size, add more if making for more)
  • 1/2 cup fresh, organic berries (I love strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup maple glazed clusters
  • 2 tbsp organic goat cheese
  • 1/4 – 1/2 of an avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • Optional organic rotisserie or cooked chicken (if making as a meal)
  • Drizzle of poppyseed dressing (will need to eyeball)

Instructions

  1. First, start on your maple glazed almond clusters. Warm a medium-sized stovetop pan over medium heat, adding in 1 cup of slivered/blanched almonds. Toast for 5-10 minutes, frequently stirring until golden brown, then drizzle in 2-4 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it, I like it on the lesser side) and quickly stir in with the nuts, sprinkling with sea salt. The pan should be hot enough that it caramelizes the maple syrup and the almonds quickly absorb it, creating sticky almond clusters. Once sticky and well mixed, remove from heat and let the clusters cool on parchment paper.
  2. Next, whisk together all poppyseed dressing ingredients by adding everything except for the olive oil into a small to medium sized mixing bowl. Once well combined, slowly whisk in olive oil, making sure to mix it well with the other ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Assemble your salad, following the ingredient amounts listed above if making a single serving for yourself. If making it for multiple people or as a large side for a meal/gathering, make sure to add more of all salad ingredients (you can honestly eyeball this!). Drizzle on dressing last and toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

*The dressing and clusters make enough servings so that if making for yourself you’ll have plenty to meal prep/eat up throughout the week.

**Store dressing in an airtight glass jar in the fridge and maple clusters in an airtight glass container in pantry for up to a week.

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