July 25, 2024

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Health Can Do

5 easy recipes to boost fertility

7 min read
5 easy recipes to boost fertility

For Fertility Awareness Week, Healthista asked fertility dietitian & author Ro Huntriss for 5 easy recipes you can make at home to help boost fertility

When it comes to infertility, it can be a struggle for women to find ways to improve their chances of falling pregnant.

In fact, 1 in 6 women will struggle to conceive naturally worldwide with a 20 per cent chance becoming pregnant naturally each cycle, for women over 30.

With this in mind, fertility experts have found ways to help women improve their chances of increasing their fertility. But it’s no secret that this information can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming.

Research on fertility, shows that adding specific foods into your diet can help boost your chances. Creating a diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids, legumes, whole grains, and plant-based foods are just a few ways to start support you on your fertility journey.

Founder of Fertility Dietitian, Ro Huntriss who is the author of the fertility cookbook Deliciously Healthy Fertility, shares five fertility recipes to help get you started….

Fertility Recipe #1 Burrito Bowl

burritobowlfertilityfoodhealthyreciepe

Fertility Benefits: Aids egg and sperm health, promotes hormonal balance, may support implantation.

This high protein bowl supports tissue renewal for healthy sperm and eggs. Beef also provides vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, and iron. Wholegrain rice steadies blood sugars, insulin, and other hormones, and promotes a healthy uterine lining for implantation.

Serves 4
Prep 5 – 10 mins
Cook 35 – 40 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 250g (9oz) lean beef mince
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100ml (3½fl oz) passata, ideally from a glass jar
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 380g carton of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g (3½oz) brown rice
  • juice of ½ lime
To serve:
  • 4 Romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn
  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • lime wedges
Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion.

2. Fry, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add the mince and cook for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Add the red pepper, chilli, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon, stir to coat the vegetables in the spices, and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the passata, tomatoes, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, add the kidney beans.

5. In the meantime, add the rice to a lidded saucepan with 200ml (7fl oz) boiling water. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30-40 minutes, or according to the packet instructions.

6. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, and stir. Spoon the rice into 2 bowls with the chilli (remove the bay leaf).

7. Serve with the lettuce, avocado, sweetcorn, yogurt, coriander, and lime wedges. If batch-cooking the chilli, keep the remainder covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Fertility Recipe #2 Chickpea Shakshuka

ChickpeaShakshukafertilityfoodhealthyrecipe

Fertility Benefits: Aids sperm health, supports healthy ovulation, provides key antioxidants, supplies iron.

This flavoursome dish is high in antioxidants such as vitamin C. Tomatoes also supply lycopene, thought to promote healthy sperm, and chickpeas are a good source of plant-based protein and iron, key ovulation-supporting nutrients.

Serves 2
Prep 5 – 10 mins
Cook 25 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 400ml (14fl oz) passata, ideally from a glass jar
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 380g carton of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • pinch of salt
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • handful of coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish
  • 2 mini wholemeal pitta breads, toasted, to serve (optional)
Method:

1. Heat the oil in a lidded saucepan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and red pepper and fry for 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and stir to coat the vegetables in the spices.

3. Pour in the passata and add the cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, a pinch of salt, and the lemon juice. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Make 2 wells in the mixture and gently crack an egg into each hole. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes, until the eggs are cooked through.

5. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with pitta bread if desired. If batch-cooking, omit the eggs and fry them when ready to serve. Keep the chickpea mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Fertility Recipe #3 Beanie Salad Bowl

beaniebowlfertilityrecipeshealthyfood

Fertility Benefits: Supports ovulatory health, supplies fibre, provides antioxidants.

This satisfying salad is full of fertility-supporting nutrients. Plant-based proteins – from cannellini beans here – are linked to healthy ovulation. The veggie and bean medley is abundant in fibre and key antioxidants, including vitamin E from the avocado.

Serves 2
Prep 5-10 mins

Ingredients:
  • 380g carton of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cucumber, diced
  • ½ orange pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 10 black olives, pitted and halved
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 2 large handfuls of salad leaves or spinach
  • 60g (2oz) mozzarella, torn into small pieces
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mixed seeds
Method:

1. Place the beans, red onion, cucumber, orange pepper, olives, tomatoes, avocado, salad leaves or spinach, and mozzarella in a large bowl and toss to combine.

2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a separate bowl and mix them together with a fork. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Enjoy!

Fertility Recipe #4 Fig, feta, and barley salad

figsaladfertilityrecipehealthyfood

Fertility Benefits: Supplies fibre and folate, aids egg and sperm health, supports gut health.

Honey-sweet figs are full of fibre, supporting gut health, while Brazil nuts are an excellent source of the antioxidant selenium, supporting egg and sperm quality. Feta is a source of essential folate.

Serves 2
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins

Ingredients:
  • 70g (21/2oz) pearl barley
  • handful of rocket
  • handful of spinach
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 4 Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 figs, quartered
  • 30g (1oz) feta, diced
For the dressing:
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Method:

1. Place the pearl barley in a lidded saucepan, cover with water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 25-30 minutes, according to the packet instructions. Drain if needed and set aside.

2. Place the rocket, spinach, mint leaves, pomegranate seeds, Brazil nuts, figs, and feta in a large bowl. To make the dressing, stir all the ingredients together.

3. Combine the pearl barley with the salad, pour over the dressing, and toss everything together to combine. Enjoy warm!

Fertility Recipe #5 Salmon with harissa vegetable couscous

salmonharissacouscous

Fertility Benefits: Provides antioxidants, aids egg health.

This colourful dish is rich in antioxidants, thought to be especially helpful for those undergoing fertility treatment.

Salmon is high in omega-3s, which promote egg health, especially in women in their mid-to-late-thirties onwards, seen as an advanced maternal age.

Serves 2
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins

Ingredients:
  • 1 carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 1 orange pepper, deseeded and diced
  • handful of tenderstem broccoli
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 140g (5oz) each
  • 70g (21/2oz) whole wheat couscous
  • juice and zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried apricots, diced
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • lemon wedges, to serve
Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (400°F/Gas 6). Par-boil the carrot for 5 minutes, until softened slightly.

2. Place the carrot, orange pepper, broccoli, red onion, garlic, harissa, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and the cumin in a baking tray, toss to mix thoroughly, and roast for 20-30 minutes.

3. In the final 10 minutes of the vegetable cooking time, heat the remaining oil in a large, lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat.

4. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin-side down. Cover and fry for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until the salmon is cooked through, opaque, and flakes easily when cut with a knife.

5. In the last 5 minutes of the vegetable cooking, put the couscous, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, and apricots in a bowl and pour over 70ml (2½fl oz) of just-boiled water. Cover with a plate for 5 minutes, then use a fork to separate and fluff the grains.

6. Add the couscous to the vegetables, with the seeds and mint leaves, and stir to combine. Serve the harissa vegetable couscous alongside the salmon, with lemon wedges on the side.

Leading Dietitian Ro Huntriss, Founder of Fertility Dietitian. Deliciously Healthy Fertility, can be purchased on Amazon

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