Fertility Salad by top nutritionist Melanie Brown

This is my must eat salad for my clients; originally known as ‘Mediterranean Salad’ one of my clients called it this and it’s stuck ever since.

After a while the name just trips off the tongue. Of course, claiming that certain foods aid fertility is a bit wild, but in my mind the combination of certain foods, based on a Mediterranean diet really can help, providing essential nutrients for both egg and sperm development.

The ovaries depend on a good supply of dietary carotenes, especially lutein (in spinach) and beta-carotene in red, yellow and orange vegetables and dark green leaves, and the DNA repairing properties of watercress and the flavonoid quercetin in red onion are perfect for healthy sperm.

In addition, this salad is packed with vitamin E, vitamin C, good fats and fibre. Add nuts and seeds, herbs and a zingy olive oil dressing, along with some protein like salmon or chicken, lentils, hard boiled eggs, or hummus and falafels, cottage cheese or mozzarella, chick peas or beans, or a mixture, and you have the perfect nourishing salad. I use this new Kilner ‘on the go’ salad jar; it’s glass not plastic and contains a separate little pot within it for dressing. Plus, it just looks so much more delicious than in a plastic lunchbox.

MEDITERRANEAN (EGG & SPERM) SALAD

  • A good handful of baby spinach & same of watercress (I love John Hurd’s organic watercress http://www.organicwatercress.co.uk, but any will do).
  • Half a Romano red pepper (the long sweet red ones)
  • Good flavoursome tomatoes
  • A carrot
  • Half an avocado
  • Some sliced red onion
  • Olive oil dressing

I buy all the ingredients, get them out of the bags, give them a good wash and a spin and then store them in glass boxes in the fridge lined with a piece of kitchen towel which keeps everything really fresh for days. I just have olive oil but you can make dressing and store in a jar, so long as you have the olive oil you can add anything else you like, and also other vegetables to the salad. But these ingredients are the basis.

Dressing – use really good strong, green, peppery extra virgin olive oil for this. Mix with apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, tahini, herbs and spices, or lemon or other citrus juice.

Keep a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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