Strawberries are in season so enjoy! Strawberries are native to North America and part of the Rose family.  They are great nutritionally and packed full of nutrients.  Strawberries contain anthocyanins which help to reduce inflammation in the body and have shown to reduce CRP (C-reactive protein which is a medical marker of inflammation) levels when a portion a day is consumed. 

Strawberries give fertility a boost as they are rich in folate. Folate is vital for cell division, growth and development and in the prevention of birth defects in the foetus. Folate may also help to counteract ovulation problems. 125g of strawberries provides 10 per cent of your daily folate needs along with a whole day’s amount of vitamin C. They are a good source of iron, potassium and manganese too. They are the only fruit to have seeds on their exterior and these contain a small amount of omega 3. Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to improving blood flow to the uterus, ovulation, improving sperm quality and motility and reducing post-natal depression. Further studies are needed.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which supports the immune system, fights infection and helps iron absorption into the body. Vitamin C also helps to prevents damage by free radicals to the DNA in egg and sperm cells. It is also important for sperm motility and in the prevention of sperm agglutination.

Why not grow some yourself? Wash strawberries just before you are about to eat them to preserve that vitamin C content.

Why not make some Strawberry Basil Salsa?

Ingredients:

4oog British strawberries (organic or home grown where possible)

3 tsp lemon juice

3 tsp finely chopped basil

1tsp of olive oil

1 pepper

2tsp of finely chopped shallots

How to make

Whisk together the pepper and lemon juice in a bowl. Stir into this the basil and shallots. Remove the stems from the strawberries, wash and chop up. Add to the lemon juice mixture and stir together. Yummy with avocado, cheese and crackers, grilled chicken, seafood and pork. Enjoy!

Watercress, strawberry and fennel salad (makes 2 portions)

By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

Ingredients

I packet of watercress

1 thinly sliced fennel

12 strawberries, sliced (organic where possible)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Handful of almonds or walnuts

How to make

Place the watercress, fennel, strawberries, and mint in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.

Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top and mix.

Scatter the almonds or walnuts over the top.

Enjoy! This is also tasty with feta cheese or goat’s cheese crumbled over the top.

Very Berry summer salad

By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

All berries are great for a fertility boost as they are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Antioxidants are important disease fighting compounds – in addition to strawberries go for raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to pack in those vital nutrients.

 Why not make this healthy salad to enjoy and pack in some of your 7 a day!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • ½ cup fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups of salad leaves/watercress of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella/halloumi or cheese of your choice (or cooked chicken)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ½ red onion finely sliced

For the Dressing

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh ground pepper,to taste

How to make

  1. Place the leaves/watercress into a salad bowl.
  2. Add the strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cheese/chicken, red onion and avocado slices.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour over salad and gently mix it all together.
  5. Serve.

Pink velvet smoothie (makes 2)

By sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)

Ingredients:

1 medium ripe banana or avocado

A few handfuls / 200g of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries – fresh or frozen

200g kefir or organic live yoghurt 

A handful of spinach

1 tsp honey

Method

Add to blender and whizz until smooth and creamy. Have for breakfast, or a snack – Enjoy!

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