By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Who doesn’t enjoy a quick, healthy, and tasty curry? They’re fantastic to make in the slow cooker when you’re short on time, an easy way to use up leftovers, and a great way to ‘eat the rainbow’ and get some of your daily fruit and vegetable servings in. Here are some pointers on how to make a Fertility Friendly Plant-Based Curry:
Build on your base and sauce –a great base to any curry includes onions, garlic, and ginger, which contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Quercetin also helps support a healthy liver and helps optimise hormone health. Onions, garlic, and ginger also contain vitamin C and selenium, as well as a significant amount of folate, which is vital for preventing neural tube defects and plays a role in sperm production and DNA synthesis. As part of a sauce, coconut milk or diced tomatoes are popular choices.
Choose your spices – turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and that’s just for starters which will you choose? …Great for fertility from reducing inflammation to helping normalizing blood sugar levels.
Greens are great – these are important as they contain a good amount of folate (think foliage!) as well as being rich in iron (very important for health and fertility) go for broccoli, kale, baby spinach.
Eat a rainbow– add some more colour – tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, baby corn are just a few examples!
Pick your protein – beans, prawns, chicken,turkey, tofu, fish all good quality protein providing foods that help to balance blood sugar levels – an important factor when it comes to fertility
Crisp it up add some seeds and nuts to benefit from numerous fertility supporting minerals- almonds and cashews are a tasty choice.
Careful with your carbs – go for wholegrain, brown rice where possible or serve with some cauliflower rice to help keep blood sugar levels well in check!
Turmeric Chicken and Aubergine Curry (makes 4-5 portions)
By Sue Bedford (MSc Nut Th)
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 aubergine washed and cut into chunks
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 a 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 and aubergine chunks. 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.