By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Love cherries and dark chocolate? If so, some of these lovely energy bites may be for you. These are great as a healthy snack or as a dessert.
Cherries are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants including vitamin C- they rank as one of the most health protective of fruit- great for those suffering from gout. Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents. These anthocyanins also help increase insulin production and thus regulate blood sugar levels. Both important factors in relation to fertility.
Oats are an excellent slow release carbohydrate (which help to keep you full for longer) and a prebiotic food. They help to balance blood sugar levels which is an important aspect of general health but can also impact positively on other health areas such as fertility. Oats also are high in beta glucan. Beta glucan is one form of soluble dietary fibre that is strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health.
Dark chocolate – 70% and above cocoa is a good source of antioxidants, magnesium (for mood!) fibre and iron- providing protective benefits re insulin sensitivity, heart health and blood pressure. When it comes to fertility dark chocolate can help support male fertility as it is a rich source of the amino acid L-arginine which in studies have been linked to improving sperm count and motility. This amino acid can also support female fertility and has been linked to helping increase the flow of blood to the ovaries and uterus.
Dates are high in antioxidants and an excellent source of fibre-as they are sticky they help to bind the energy bites together!
Ingredients (makes around 25 energy bites)
8oz of destoned chopped fresh Cherries
8oz of chopped Dates
8oz of broken up Dark chocolate (70% +Cocoa solids)- you can always add a pinch of Cinnamon too!
How to make:
Chop the cherries and dates into very small pieces and then combine with the oats and chocolate ( I find that the chocolate is best if slightly melted over a pan of boiling water to make it smoother) in a mixing bowl and give it a good stir. Divide the mix and roll into balls.
Place into the fridge or freeze for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight for a more solid result.