By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Apples are abundant in the autumn and not only are they nutritious they are also delicious! Eating with the seasons provides the body with the essential nutrients needed at a particular time of year. 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 Glycemic 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 pairs well with Apple in many dishes. Preliminary research suggests that Cinnamon may help to jump-start irregular menstrual cycles in women affected by Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). 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. In research involving diabetic patients it has been shown to reduce insulin resistance in people with diabetes.
An apple a day…………
Apple and Cinnamon porridge (makes 2 portions)
100g porridge oats
200ml milk (of your choice)
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
½tsp of cinnamon
In a saucepan, heat the milk until it begins to bubble. Add the oats and allow to cook for 5mins over a low heat or until the milk has been absorbed.
In a separate pan, add the honey and apple on low heat and allow to soften and caramelise for a few minutes.
Spoon the porridge into two bowls and top with the apples. Sprinkle a little extra cinnamon on top and serve.
Sue specialises in fertility, pregnancy and menopause nutrition- to contact her to book a personalised Nutritional Therapy consultation you can email her on firstname.lastname@example.org