We all know we should eat our greens, and it’s even more important when you’re trying to conceive. Dark, leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard and spinach are some of the most nutritious veggies you can chow down on, packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients.
I’d always dismissed kale before, thinking it was overpriced, trendy and not that nice, but it comes up time and time again in lists of top fertility foods so it can’t be ignored any longer!
Kale is a phytonutrient, which enhances the immune system, protects cells from damage, and helps to detoxify the body. It’s high in folate, iron, vitamin A and is also a great source of calcium, which helps egg maturation and follicular development.
This lovely light soup is a great way of getting a healthy dose of kale in your diet. It’s delicious served with fresh, crusty bread as well, otherwise you’ll probably be left feeling hungry! Continue reading
Why are nuts and seeds so important when trying to conceive? It varies from nut to nut, but they are said to be good for both fertility and during pregnancy as they are loaded with fibre, protein, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Almonds, sunflower seeds and peanuts are ‘building foods’ because they are a healthy protein. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are the best sources for zinc, which can help improve the health of both the egg and sperm and balance hormones. Sunflower seeds and almonds also contain Vitamin E, which can help to increase your cervical mucus and improve sperm mobility. And Brazil nuts are said to have the high levels of selenium, which is crucial in the development of healthy ovarian follicles.
Nuts are super easy to add in to your daily diet. Eat them raw as a snack, sprinkle them over salads, porridge or yoghurt, or chop them up and mix with bulgar wheat and big bunches of fresh mint and parsley to make a tabbouleh. If you fancy something a little sweeter try this Sweet Coconut and Nut Mix, which I love having with porridge in the mornings.
I’m a big fan of lentils, especially since I’ve been TTC. Lentils provide 90% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid, so BOOM chuck a few in your dishes!
Green lentils hold their shape pretty well so they are a good alternative to meat, or to add a bit of texture to salads. This delicious lentil and feta salad went down really well with the husband too (although the poor little sausage does ask where the meat is every time I make something vegetarian).
I’ve talked about the benefits of steak on fertility before. It’s a great source of L-arginine, which can improve circulation and in turn boost egg and sperm health. It’s also a good way to get your vitamin B6 (especially if it’s grass-fed beef), which can help to lengthen your luteal phase and increase cervical mucus. My doctor has advised me to eat red meat twice a week so Friday’s have now become steak night!
I’ve paired this steak with a bright, fresh, raw Asian-style salad which is packed full of Vitamin C from the red pepper, mango and lime juice. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for both men and women’s fertility. Vitamin C is said to improve hormone levels in women, while it improves sperm quality and protects sperm from DNA damage, which can help to reduce the chance of miscarriage and chromosomal problems.
Ok I’ll admit there aren’t really any health or fertility benefits with this recipe…well limes are a good source of vitamin C, but let’s be real – sometimes you just want something that tastes damn good! I made this for my husband on our third wedding anniversary. I don’t usually do many desserts – mainly because he refuses to eat anything with a berry near it – but this one was a winner.
It’s really simple to make but is full of flavour from the limes. If you have a pie tin with a removable base it’s probably best to use that, but if not, just try to loosen the edges slightly with a knife before removing a slice. Serve with whipped cream if you like, but I like mine just the way it is. One other tip – if your oven is a bit of a fiery beast like mine then remember to turn the pie half way so don’t end up with a slightly charred edge!
The internet is full of articles on super seeds…eat more seeds to lower your cholesterol…eat more seeds for healthy hair…eat more seeds to lower your anxiety. But can they actually help with fertility?
From browsing t’interweb, it seems sesame seeds are frequently recommended as a fertile food. They are a great source of zinc, which is a key mineral for both men and women trying to conceive. For guys, zinc can help testosterone and sperm production, whilst for ladies it can help with egg production, maintaining follicular fluid levels and hormone regulation. Ok I’m sold!
Luckily it’s super easy to incorporate sesame seeds into your diet – they add a nutty crunch to stir-fries, salads or porridge and I absolutely love the smell of sesame oil. This is a really easy meal to make so it’s good for a weekday if you don’t want to do anything complicated.
So, open sesame…here you go!
I first tried fish tacos when I was in California – they are a true West Coast dish, and I’ve never had one as good as I had there. I will admit my own recipe isn’t quite up there with an authentic Baja Fish Taco, but it is healthier! I’ve used oven-baked fish rather than fried, natural yoghurt instead of sour cream and lots of fresh, raw vegetables.
I cheated and used store-bought salsa for this as I couldn’t be bothered with more chopping and it’s not the star of the show anyway.
The fun is in assembling the taco yourself, so lay everything out on the table and get everyone to make their own (when I say everyone I’m talking about me and my greedy husband). I didn’t manage to get a picture of the final taco as we were just way too messy when we made these and kind of just wanted to eat them, but you can imagine how it should look!