Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Why not start your day with a nutritious and delicious fertility smoothie as part of your fertility diet plan?
Rhubarb is a great source of vitamin K (important for bone, blood and brain health), fibre, vitamin C, lutein, antioxidants and is low on calories. Studies show that rhubarb can help reduce ‘LDL’(bad) cholesterol levels in the blood. In relation to fertility, the vitamin C obtained from consuming cooked rhubarb is a powerful antioxidant that is important in protecting DNA in cells, including that of the egg and sperm from free radical damage- helping to prevent cell ageing. As vitamin C is involved in glucose metabolism- it helps with sugar balance (important for those with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome), may also help in the prevention of diabetes and is important for hormone balance too.
Strawberries are native to North America and part of the Rose family. They are great nutritionally and packed full of nutrients. Strawberries contain anthocyanins which help to reduce inflammation in the body and have shown to reduce CRP (C-reactive protein which is a medical marker of inflammation) levels when a portion a day is consumed.
Strawberries help support fertility as they are rich in folate. Folate is vital for cell division, growth and development and in the prevention of birth defects in the foetus. Folate may also help to counteract ovulation problems. 125g of strawberries provides 10 per cent of your daily folate needs along with a whole day’s amount of vitamin C. They are a good source of iron, potassium and manganese too. They are the only fruit to have seeds on their exterior and these contain a small amount of omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to improving blood flow to the uterus, ovulation, improving sperm quality and motility and reducing post-natal depression. Further studies are needed.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system, fights infection and helps iron absorption into the body. Vitamin C also helps to prevent damage by free radicals to the DNA in egg and sperm cells. It is also important for sperm motility and in the prevention of sperm agglutination.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Smoothie (makes 1)
1 stalk fresh rhubarb leaves removed, stems chopped
8 oz fresh organic strawberries, washed, stem removed
8 oz milk of your choice
1 banana fresh or frozen is delicious too!
Ice cubes (optional)
Add the milk, rhubarb, strawberries and banana to the blender and blend. Enjoy over ice (optional)
Cautions: Do not eat the leaves of the Rhubarb plant as they are poisonous, due to a high content of oxalic acid and anthraquinone. Eat only the cooked stems and avoid the raw stem.
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