By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Busy in the week but want to eat well to support your immune system and fertility?
Why not start batch cooking a few nutrient-dense warming recipes to pull out on those busy autumnal days when you get home from work, starting with this delicious’ Immune Support Turmeric Chicken Curry’.
Chicken is a healthy lean meat and besides being an excellent source of protein (important for a healthy immune system), chicken also contains a special amino acid, L-carnitine, which is necessary for sperm cells to function normally. L-carnitine was found in studies, to assist in normalizing sperm motility, which is a crucial component to male fertility. Chicken contains all of the B vitamins which help the body form red blood cells and also produce energy and a healthy nervous system. Folate (vitamin B9) is important in the prevention of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Chicken is also high in zinc, iron, potassium and phosphorus, all important to health and fertility.
Turmeric – Turmeric has been part of ayurvedic medicine for centuries and has been researched extensively in relation to it’s health benefits. Turmeric possesses strong antioxidant properties that have been linked to lowering the risk of infections and disease. It is especially well known for the active substance found within it – Curcumin, which is a type of chemical compound, of which there are several, known as Curcuminoids. Curcumin is what makes Turmeric be known as a ‘functional food’. Meaning that it has a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. One of the most powerful aspects of Curcumin has been found to be the ability to control inflammation. Excess inflammation is known to be the root cause of a variety of imbalances and diseases in the body. Several reproductive disorders are accompanied by chronic inflammation, which can significantly reduce the ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Research has found that the curcumin in turmeric contains antioxidants that may help boost your immune system and that it could act as an immune modulator, which means that it may aid in the regulation of immune cells.
Turmeric chicken curry
Ingredients:1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 chilli, seeds removed, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
A thumb-sized piece of raw turmeric, grated finely
A thumb-sized piece of raw ginger, grated finely
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp olive oil
4 organic chicken breasts (or boneless and skinless chicken thighs)
2 cans coconut milk
Juice of half a fresh lemon
How to make:
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. When hot add the mustard seeds, chilli, garlic, raw turmeric and ginger, and the onion. Cook on medium heat until the onion is golden and translucent. Add the dried spices and fry for a minute or two, scraping them off the bottom of the pot. Turn up the heat, add a little more oil and brown the chicken pieces. When brown, turn down the heat and add the coconut milk. Gently simmer and Stir. Allow the curry to cook gently for an hour. Add the fresh lemon juice before serving. Serve with rice of your choice and enjoy! Freeze any leftovers.
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