Fertility Food All-Star: SALMON
This is one of those recipes that I make all the time, but I can't manage to get a decent photo of so haven't shared with you yet. Well folks, I'm settling for this mediocre-at-best pic (have I mentioned I am not a perfectionist?) so I can finally bring you this IMPORTANT recipe for SALMON CAKES ;)
Wild Pacific Salmon is widely considered a fertility food all-star for several reasons, which I'll get to below, but the problem that many of my clients face is that it can be difficult to find wild, sustainably caught salmon, either in fillets or the whole fish, that is affordable enough to eat on the regular (at least weekly). The solution? Canned salmon! Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing like a fresh salmon, cooked on the BBQ, and I am so fortunate to have access to a local indigenous fisherman who I can buy fresh salmon from. But when that is not an option, canned is the next best thing. There is a catch, though. I don't want you to go out and buy just any 'ol can of salmon. There is only one brand I recommend (no affiliation). Farmed salmon is not an option here, as it does not boast the same health benefits as wild salmon does. Not to mention, the stress that salmon farms cause to our oceans and ecosystems. Here's just a few of the reasons why you should consider including wild salmon in your preconception planning and fertility diet:
- Wild salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which combat inflammation throughout the body. We know that inflammation is common in our modern lifestyles, and that it can interfere with the ability to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Omega-3's are also crucial to fetal brain development during pregnancy, and adequate levels may prevent postpartum depression.
- Wild salmon is very low in mercury compared to other common fish like tuna, halibut, and lobster. Preparing for pregnancy is a time of reducing "toxic load" and heavy metals so as not to pass those on to the developing baby.
- Wild salmon is very rich in selenium, a trace mineral that is not found in very many foods. Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant which protects reproductive organs from aging and damage. Selenium is also crucial for proper thyroid function, and the structural integrity of sperm.
- Wild salmon is a rich source of dairy-free calcium. I encourage many of my clients to reduce or eliminate cow dairy because of it's inflammatory properties, and I always get the same question: but what about calcium?! Now, there are many, many fantastic dairy-free sources of calcium, but wild salmon is among my favourite, because it also offers so many other benefits.
- The healthy fats found in wild salmon form the building blocks of our sex hormones. We must consume healthy fats in order to have balanced hormones and optimal fertility.
You'll also notice that this recipe features flaxseeds and kale, fertility superfoods in their own rights, for a triple whammy of happy hormone vibes! And of course, my cooking style is simple and quick, so you can whip these up in no time and have them ready for lunches throughout your busy week :)
Wild Salmon Cakes (makes about 8 patties)
2 6oz. cans of wild salmon (I recommend Raincoast Trading brand) or use leftover cooked salmon
1 egg, whisked
2 heaping tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 heaping tablespoons almond flour
1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or use 1 teaspoon dried dill)
1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped onion (or use 1 teaspoon onion powder)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 large leaf of kale, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Form into small cakes and place on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, flip each cake, then bake for another 10-15 minutes, until they begin to brown ever-so-slightly on each side.
These are delicious on their own, or with a salad or rice or roasted vegetables. The miso-lime dressing from this salad recipe also makes a nice dipping sauce for the cakes.
Do you have any questions about wild salmon for fertility? Email me anytime at Krista@RootToFruitNutrition.ca anytime - I'd love to hear from you ;)