Maple Glazed Salmon - Oh Me Oh-Mega!

This week’s key diet ingredient: Mono- and Polyunsaturated Fats and Omega-3s

by Shelby Burns

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to clean the blood of fat deposits, reduce clotting, and encourage blood flow to the tissues, including the uterus, which are all good things when you are trying to get pregnant.

Omega-3 fats are an important part of cell membranes and help regulate what goes in and out of cells as well as boost the immune system. Specific omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are essential in fetal brain development. In the circulatory system, both mono- and polyunsaturated fats lower levels of harmful LDL and increase protective HDL.

Pregnant women who include large amounts of specific omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, tend to have longer pregnancies allowing the baby to develop to its fullest potential before birth. As a result, they have lower rates of premature births which can cause physical and neurological problems.

Our bodies need polyunsaturated fats but can’t make them so they must be consumed. The ocean provides some of the best sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fats: fatty, cold-water fish such as sardines, salmon, and chunk light tuna. However, some types of fish contain high levels of mercury which can harm a developing child, so ask questions about the quality of the fish you buy and read labels.

Plant sources include flaxseed, avocados, nuts such as walnuts, cashews and almonds, and seeds like sesame. Use canola and peanut oil. Ground flaxseed sprinkled over a salad is an excellent way to easily include the omega-3 in your diet.

In general American diets are too high in omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn and safflower oils). Omega-6 in large amounts can bring on uterine contractions and lead to early miscarriage. It’s important for women to balance their intake of these fats and choose omega-3s over omega-6s whenever possible.

Source: Cooking to Conceive, The Fertility Diet, Dr. Barry Sears, The Infertility Cure

Maple Glazed Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3s, is a great source of protein and has B vitamins. Don’t hesitate to ask your butcher about the quality of the salmon and that you need to avoid any mercury contamination. Also don’t hesitate to ask them to remove the skin and pull the bones. It’s an extra service that saves you time.


  • 3 tbsp Grade B (thicker and more flavorful) maple syrup, but you can use any grade
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1-½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1-½ lbs salmon steak or fillet, about 1 inch thick cut into 4 serving sizes

How to

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a shallow baking pan or rimmed cookie sheet with foil.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, lime juice, mustard, and salt to taste. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mixture.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on the prepared pan. Brush the salmon with 1/2 of the syrup mixture.

Bake the salmon in the middle of the oven for 8 minutes. Switch the oven to the broiler setting and brush the salmon with the remaining glaze mixture. Broil the salmon 4 to 5 inches from the heat until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle on the reserved tablespoon of glaze before serving.

Great served with brown rice and steamed spinach! Good sources of fiber and iron, respectively.

Makes 4 servings.

Lifestyle choices affect your health. Whether you are prepping for pregnancy, birth or an energetic parenthood, diet impacts your body, your mood and your success. Obviously significant fertility issues cannot be cured with a change in lifestyle, medical intervention is often times necessary. However, the right nutrients found in a balanced diet can help maintain optimal hormone levels and keep your reproductive organs healthy.


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