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Recipe: Macho Man Meets Sleepytime Salad

This salad is easy on the eyes, pleasing to the palate, and a balance of healthy carbs, proteins, fruits and vegetables! I initially developed this salad for it’s positive impact on sperm (for all my fertility friends out there trying to conceive!). But because tryptophan, the amino acid involved in drowsiness, plays a huge role in sperm health, I discovered that every ingredient also promotes good nighttime sleep! Let's dive into the fertility benefits of each ingredient, but please note that this salad will give you some great zzz's, whether you're in a journey towards parenthood or not!

  • Spinach or Brussels Sprouts: rich in folate, a key micronutrient in DNA synthesis, which helps improve sperm quality

  • Walnuts: a 2012 study concluded that walnuts improve sperm vitality, motility, and morphology

  • Avocados: abundant in vitamin E, B6, and folic acid, avocados boost sperm motility and give it the strength to penetrate the egg

  • Bell Peppers: contain vitamin C, zinc, and folic avid, improving sperm production, motility, and morphology

  • Pomegranates: outside of being a symbol of love, pomegranates contain antioxidants, increase sex drive, testosterone levels, and sperm count and quality

  • Quinoa: rich in folate and vitamin B12, quinoa may improve sperm concentration

  • Grass fed beef: loaded with important nutrients for motility, sperm development, and overall sperm health, including zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, carnitine, and other amino acids

  • Olive oil: hydroxytyrosol, the most important antioxidant present in virgin olive oil composition, significantly improves sperm viability and decreases sperm DNA oxidation

Here’s how to make it!

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Rinse quinoa and transfer into a medium pot of water (or broth) and salt (use a 2 to 1 water to quinoa ratio). Bring to a boil, and then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until quinoa is tender and a white ‘tail’ appears. This should take about 15 minutes. Add a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, or any flavors you’d like to incorporate.

Add quinoa to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes (or until quinoa is crisp and slightly browned).

Cook grass fed beef (do NOT pick a processed meat) and cut into thin slices.

On a bed of spinach or shredded Brussels Sprouts, add slices of avocado and bell pepper, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, sliced beef, and crispy quinoa. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. You can also sauté this salad if you’d like it warm - just add the avocado and pomegranate seeds at the very end once the cooking is done. Enjoy!

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