IVF Babble

Pomegranate and greek yoghurt pot for breakfast

By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

Pomegranates are a real gem when it comes to health and fertility, as they are an excellent source of flavonoids and polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) and folate, along with, vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc and fibre. Pomegranates also contain special compounds called Punicalagins (found only in pomegranates) which have been linked to supporting the immune system. Punicalagins, in studies, also appear to aid Apoptosis (this is programmed cell death). This is an important process as it helps to speed up the removal of cells which are not functioning in the correct way from the body. In terms of general health, pomegranates are also known to have anti-ageing properties, can be helpful for cardiovascular health and bone health and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

In relation to fertility, the anti-inflammatory properties that pomegranates possess may be helpful in easing some of the symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as Endometriosis. They are also thought to support fertility by helping balance hormones and increasing blood flow to the uterus. Pomegranate is rich in zinc as compared to other fruits. Zinc has been shown to increase sperm count and sperm quality – both are important for successful conception. Folate is also key preconceptionally in helping to prevent neural tube defects in the developing foetus once pregnant. In a 2014 study involving 70 men (published in PLOSOne), the antioxidant properties of pomegranate have been linked to improving sperm quality, this link was also reported in research published in the Journal of Urology 2005.

Natural live yoghurt is great for the gut as it contains friendly probiotic bacteria (such as lactobacillus). It is also a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin D and provides selenium too- an important antioxidant for egg and sperm health. Go for full fat, unsweetened for maximum benefit.

Brazil nuts contain very high levels of selenium and eating just one or two nuts can provide a whole day’s recommended intake. Selenium is often lacking in modern diets due to soil being depleted of this important mineral. Selenium helps to protect us from the diseases associated with ageing. It is an antioxidant that is important to fertility because it prevents oxidation and DNA damage in the egg and sperm cells. It is also important in oogenesis and spermatogenesis (egg and sperm production). In studies, men with low sperm counts have been found, when tested, to have low levels of selenium. Increasing selenium levels may lead to improved sperm motility. A low selenium status has been tied to low birth-weight babies and preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure during pregnancy. It is important for healthy functioning of the thyroid gland.Brazil nuts are also a good source of vitamin E (another antioxidant important for health and fertility), along with calcium and magnesium (the happy mineral!).

To make your breakfast pot (for 1)

Chose a nice glass! Remove the seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate and place around the inside of the bottom of the glass. Next, spoon some natural live yoghurt and cover the pomegranate seeds (about an inch of yoghurt). Sprinkle over the top with chopped brazil nuts and more pomegranate seeds. Repeat the layers again. Place into the fridge for a couple of hours or cover over-night. Bring out of the fridge and drizzle over with honey. Enjoy!

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