9 Fertility diet recipes
16th May 2020
Ingredient choice may be slightly limited right now and meal inspiration waning, but that doesn’t mean that your preconception fertility diet has to suffer. Using 3 male and female fertility boosting ingredients that are also store-cupboard staples, we’ve created 9 tasty but simple recipes for you to try this week.
Spinach for your fertility diet
Rich in folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid), zinc, calcium and iron, spinach is a fertility superfood. When it comes to folate especially, the Nurses’ Study found that women who got at least 700 mcg of folic acid a day from their diet and supplements were 40- 50% less likely to have had ovulatory infertility than women getting less than 300 mcg. also supports healthy foetal development, and helps prevent neural tube defects. Low levels of dietary folate can also result in low levels of sperm production too.
Spinach may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is versatile enough to be adapted to almost any cuisine and will fast become a key part of your fertility diet.
Spinach and walnut pesto
Swap the traditional basil and pine nuts for more available ingredients to make a nutritious but just as tasty pesto. The walnuts especially are great for both male and female fertility. High in magnesium, they boost progesterone levels in women and also improve the shape and vitality of sperm.
Toast 50g of walnuts in a frying pan until they start to brown. In a food processor, whizz the walnuts, 1 crushed clove of garlic, a handful of fresh parsley, 100g of fresh spinach leaves and the zest of 1 lemon until well combined. Add 60g of grated parmesan and 4 tablespoons of olive and mix until smooth. Eat with pasta, on toast or use to season fish or chicken.
Spinach and halloumi salad
This salad is versatile but simple to make as a meal or as a side to a high protein dish. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a griddle and cook 150g sliced halloumi on both sides until charred. In a bowl, mix 100g of baby spinach leaves, 1 sliced orange, 2 tablespoons of raisins and a tablespoon of roasted pine nuts. Dress the salad with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spinach super smoothie
With more warm weather on the way, a refreshing, cooling smoothie packed with nutrients is a great way to stay cool and nourished whilst supporting your fertility diet at the same time. As well as packing in almost all of the B vitamins, including folate, this smoothie also gives you about half the dietary fibre you need per day, keeping your gut and digestive system happy too.
Cut up 1 small apple, half a banana, half an avocado. Mix these in a blender with 5 cubes of frozen spinach, 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and 50g of frozen berries. Add water tablespoon by tablespoon if you prefer a thinner consistency and enjoy.
Oily fish for your fertility diet
Salmon, sardines and mackerel (North Atlantic, Chub) are all good sources of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and are low in mercury too. Vitamin D helps to boost sex hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen, which can help regulate menstrual cycles and help with PCOS and endometriosis (both common causes of infertility). It also plays an important role in fertility and throughout pregnancy by helping with the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphate.
Omega 3 helps fertility in numerous ways too. It improves the quality of your uterus by increasing blood flow to your sexual organs. It also increases cervical mucus and promotes ovulation.
Quick & easy fishcakes
Instead of potatoes, this recipe uses quinoa instead to bind the fishcakes. Quinoa is rich in fibre, manganese ( a powerful antioxidant), magnesium and iron. Mix 150g of cooked quinoa, 150g cooked fish, 1 egg, and 100g of plain flour in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon of mustard, salt and pepper and mix. Mould the mixture into 4 evenly sized fishcakes. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the fishcakes until golden brown. Serve with a side of salad.
Watercress & salmon potato salad
Finely chop 1 spring onion, 1 tablespoon of washed capers and 1 tablespoon each of fresh dill and mint and set aside in a small bowl. Crush 1 garlic clove and add to the bowl. Pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of mustard and whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Quarter 200g of cooked and cooled baby potatoes and drain 1 can of salmon in brine or flake 400g of cooked salmon. Put the potatoes and salmon into a bowl. Pour the dressing over and mix. Gently combine the 2 handfuls of fresh watercress.
Sardines on toast
Jazz up the humble sardine with this quick and easy recipe for this calcium and omega 3 rich breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Thinly slice a small red onion, a handful of dill and a teaspoon of capers. Mix in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of creme fraiche. Slice 1 tomato and set aside. Toast two slices of the bread of your choice – we personally love rye for this recipe. Once toasted, spread the creme fraiche mixture onto the toast, add a layer of the chopped tomatoes and canned sardine fillets, skin side up. Crack some black pepper on top and enjoy!
Mixed Berries for your fertility diet
Blueberries, raspberries, goji berries, blackberries, acai berries…the list is endless! Fresh, frozen, dried, cooked even, they provide a whole range of vitamins and minerals which can help boost both female and male fertility. This includes high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories which help increase the volume and quality of sperm and eggs by reducing levels of cell-damaging free radicals.
Vegan blueberry cheesecake bars
Who doesn’t like a sweet treat that’s good for you too? Before you start, soak 250g of raw cashew in cold water overnight. The day after grease and line the base and sides of a 12cm x 27cm x 6cm-deep loaf tin. In a food processor, blend together 210g of desiccated coconut,100g of ground almonds, 125ml of maple syrup and 125ml of coconut oil (at room temperature). Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg. Press this into the lined baking tin and leave to chill in the fridge.
Mix together the soaked cashew nuts, 50g of pitted dates, 70g of ground almonds, 250ml coconut oil, 75ml of maple syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 500g of frozen or fresh blueberries until smooth. Pour the blueberry mixture over the base and chill for at least 4 hours. You may want to eat the whole thing in one go but slice into bars for a healthy snack.
Mixed berry compote
When it comes to berries, frozen berries have similar nutritional profile to fresh berries and are often significantly cheaper too. This recipe is a vitamin and antioxidant-rich condiment to have with your oats, yoghurt, ice cream or toast.
Add 500g mixed berries to a pan along with 50g sugar, the juice from 1 lemon and 4 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. You want the berries to be soft but still hold their shape. Leave to cool and store in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for a couple of months.
Berry & mint granita
Another recipe to keep you cool and well during the warm weather. Mix 100ml of water and 100g caster sugar in a pan and simmer (don’t boil) until the sugar melts. Blend 450g of fresh berries of your choice until it resembles a puree. Add the berries and 10 mint leaves to the sugar syrup and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then strain to remove any seeds and the mint leaves. Leave to cool for a further 15 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a container and freeze for an hour. Every hour for 5 hours, scrape the top layer of the berry mixture and put it back into the fridge. The mixture should resemble a crystallised slushy after a while. When ready, serve with a sprig of mint.