Lentil and Feta Salad

Lentil and feta - recipes for fertility

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).

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Steak and Asian Salad

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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.

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Sesame Salmon

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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?

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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!

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Healthy Fish Tacos

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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!

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Lentil Cottage Pie

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I love cooking with lentils. They are a cheap and easy way to bulk up meals, and are a great protein alternative to meat. But did you know that lentils are also one of the top fertility foods? According to Medical News Today just one cup of lentils provides up to 90% of your recommended daily intake of folic acid. Great news for anyone trying to conceive!

Those who are TTC will, I’m sure, be aware that you are recommended to take folic acid supplements before you start trying to get pregnant as it supports the healthy growth of your foetus. It can also help to regulate your menstrual cycle and improve sperm quality. Whilst I don’t suggest that you ditch the supplements, it can’t hurt to add a few lentils to your diet every now and then.

I’ve become a big fan of this vegetarian cottage pie recipe (I think I actually make it more than the meat-filled version now). The sweet potato topping is a nice alternative as well. You can serve this up with whatever veggies you prefer, or if you’re feeling really greedy try it between two slices of buttered bread (seriously it’s delicious!).

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Garlicky Chicken Kievs

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It’s not the sexiest of foods but they say that garlic is great for fertility. It’s high in vitamins C and B6, which play a role in hormone balance, and contains an antioxidant, which is good for the health of the eggs and sperm.

Some people also believe that eating a clove of raw garlic everyday before ovulation can improve the quality of your cervical mucus, making it a better environment for fertilisation to take place. That doesn’t sound particularly pleasant, but garlic is something that can be added to your diet easily enough – whether raw or cooked.

A childhood favourite of mine is the Chicken Kiev, which of course is packed with garlic butter. It’s a bit indulgent as you have to use a lot of oil and butter, but screw it; it’s worth it once in a while. I’ve tried to balance the naughtiness out by eating brown rice with it…that’s how it works right?

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Soup to warm your insides – Chicken Barley Soup

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I’ve been seeing an acupuncturist who has advised that to help the implantation process it’s important to keep your uterus warm. Given that my uterus is snugly tucked up by the digestive organs, I thought it would already be pretty warm, but – so my acupuncturist has told me – cold drinks, frozen food and raw vegetables and fruits can cool it down so there is less blood flow, and it is harder for the egg to attach.

Over the last few months I’ve been trying to eat more warming foods, like soups, stews and curries, and drinking warm or hot drinks to make it feel like my uterus is wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring fire, so I thought I would share this yummy soup recipe.

Chicken barley soup is one of my favourite dishes from when I was a kid. My mum would make it if you even started to have a sniffle, so it reminds me of being looked after. I’ve adapted her recipe by making the chicken broth, rather than using a stock cube (sorry mum!), but the one ingredient I won’t sacrifice is the marmite! You just stir a teaspoon in to your own bowl when you’re ready to eat it, but it makes all the difference!

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