Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Looking for a nutritious and delicious dessert to try as part of your fertility diet plan? Eat with the seasons….. Why not have a go at this healthy apple and cinnamon crumble.
Apples contain only a few nutrients, but the ones they do have are highly important when it comes to health and fertility –and these include the powerful antioxidants vitamin A and C. Vitamin C helps to protect cells and DNA (including that of egg and sperm cells) helping to slow down cell ageing. It also plays a role in male fertility and has been linked to improving sperm quality and preventing agglutination. Vitamin A helps to keep the tissues in the reproductive system healthy, along with ensuring the normal growth and development of embryos during pregnancy. It also helps with tissue repair in the mother after birth has taken place.
Apples contain high levels of plant chemicals including the flavonoid Quercetin which acts an anti-inflammatory and are great for those watching their waistline too as they help to balance blood sugar levels and have a low Glycaemic Load (GL). These properties are important re inflammatory conditions of the reproductive system and to help balance hormones. Apples are high in pectin, a soluble fibre that can help to lower bad cholesterol.
Cinnamon– Cinnamon is a warming spice which helps to stabilise glucose and triglyceride levels in the blood. It acts as a fantastic antiseptic and a powerful antioxidant which also helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Preliminary research suggests that Cinnamon may also help jump-start irregular menstrual cycles in women affected by Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)- more research is required. Polycystic ovary syndrome, which involves many of the body’s systems, is thought to be heavily linked to an insensitivity of Insulin. It is not yet clear exactly why cinnamon may work to regulate menstrual cycles in those with polycystic ovary syndrome, but it may improve the body’s ability to process glucose and insulin.
Oats contain healthy unsaturated fats, protein, dietary fibres, disease-fighting phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. They are an excellent slow-release carbohydrate (which help to keep you full for longer along with helping to stabilise blood glucose levels) and contain beta glucan, a prebiotic soluble fibre which is great for the gut and heart health, lowering ‘LDL’ cholesterol.
Healthy Apple Crumble and cinnamon crumble – serves 4
For the topping
30g flour of your choice
25g chopped pecans
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
25g unsalted butter, slightly soft
For the filling
750g stewed bramley apples
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Natural sweetener of your choice
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
To make the crumble topping, combine the oats, pecans, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the maple syrup and soft butter. Stir until fully incorporated.
For the filling, chop the apples and place in a pan onto the hob with a splash of water and gently heat until stewed (add a small pinch of cinnamon)….sweeten with natural sweetener according to taste.
Transfer the apples to your chosen baking dish (spread the crumble topping over the fruit). Place into the oven for about 30 minutes until cooked.
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