Summertime fun often involves food! Picnics, barbecues, cookouts, and trying new restaurants or dining al fresco when you’re on vacation are all part of enjoying longer days and warm weather. A little indulgence won’t hurt your efforts to boost your fertility, but it’s important to support your overall health when you’re trying to conceive. Here are some tasty and healthy recipes to enjoy this summer.
1. Kale Chickpea Salad with Avocado and Lemon
Benefits: This salad is full of foods which are powerful supports to fertility. Kale is a dark leafy green and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta carotenes. It’s also high in fiber, which helps you feel full faster and aids in weight control. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are high in protein and in fiber. Studies have found that women who get more of their protein from plants rather than meat had less ovulatory-related infertility. Avocados are rich in folate, which is important both when you are trying to conceive and also in early pregnancy. They are also a great source of monounsaturated fat, the “good fat.” Olive oil is another excellent source of monounsaturated fat.
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, pressed
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups finely chopped kale
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1 avocado, chopped
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Fold in the kale. Combine. It’s easiest to do this with your hands to make sure the kale is adequately coated with the dressing. Gently fold in garbanzo beans and avocado. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Citrus Glazed Salmon
Benefits: Salmon is one of the best sources of vitamin D and is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It is particularly high in selenium, which is an important nutrient for reproductive health. Lemons and other citrus fruits can help prevent oxidative damage to the body. Recipe credit: Fertility Chef.
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried basil
4 (6-oz) salmon fillets
Nonstick cooking spray
½ teaspoon garlic-pepper blend
¼ teaspoon salt
Heat gas or charcoal grill. In a small bowl, combine marmalade, lemon juice, and basil; mix well. Spray skin side of salmon with nonstick cooking spray. Turn salmon over and sprinkle with garlic-pepper blend and salt. When grill is heated, place salmon skin side down, on gas grill over medium-low heat or on charcoal grill 4-6 inches from medium-low coals. Cook 12-17 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting with marmalade mixture during the last 8-10 minutes of cooking time.
3. Red, White and Blue Frozen Yogurt Bark
This recipe features a number of fertility-friendly ingredients. Natural live yogurt contains probiotic bacteria, which supports gut health. Strawberries and raspberries are both high in folate, which is an essential nutrient when you’re trying to conceive and also in the first few months of pregnancy. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Blueberries and strawberries are also high in vitamin C and antioxidents, which are important for good health. Recipe credit: IVF Babble.
18 oz. full fat, natural yogurt
Juice and zest of ½ medium lemon
8 strawberries, thinly sliced
1 tsp coconut flakes (optional)
Line a tray or dish with parchment paper, with enough overhang that you can easily lift the yogurt out of the tray, once frozen. In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest until well combined. Pour the yogurt into the tray, smoothing with a spoon to form a thin layer. Top with slices of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, or other toppings of your choice. Place the tray into the freezer for at least 2 hours until completely frozen. It can be left overnight to freeze. Once frozen, remove tray from freezer. Lift the yogurt from the tray and break into pieces. Put the pieces in freezer bags or containers and replace in the freezer. Keep frozen until ready to eat.