Zinc recipe


The Dietologist gives us a prawn, cashew and buckwheat noodle stir-fry, oozing with zinc goodness!

Zinc is an essential mineral, meaning our body does not make enough every day to meet our needs. And it turns out most Australian women of reproductive age are simply not getting enough zinc!          

For men, they need nearly double the amount of zinc each day, compared to women, as it is lost in the ejaculate.

The best sources of zinc include:

  • Shellfish – oysters, prawns, lobster
  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Legumes & beans
  • Nuts & seeds – especially cashews

New research has shown when the sperm and egg meet, zinc sparks literally fly, pointing towards the role of zinc in the process of fertilisation and embryo development (Reference: Que et al., 2014).

Recipe: Prawn, Cashew & Buckwheat Noodle Stir-Fry (Serves 2)


500 g shelled king prawns (green or frozen)

½ cup roasted unsalted cashews

1 red capsicum, sliced

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

Large handful green beans, topped & tailed

1 clove garlic, crushed

Extra virgin olive oil

90 g or 1 bunch buckwheat soba noodles

2 tbsp soy or tamari sauce

½ bunch fresh coriander


  1. Wash and chop all vegetables into stir-fry sized pieces.
  2. Coat wok in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (use sesame or peanut if you prefer) and briefly sauté the crushed garlic clove and finely sliced spring onions (save some raw spring onion for garnish)
  3. Add in stir-fry vegetables of choice and stir-fry with 1 tbsp soy or tamari sauce.
  4. Remove vegetables from wok, add more oil if necessary, then briefly cook the prawns in 1 tbsp soy sauce until cooked through.
  5. Add the vegetables and cashew nuts to the prawns in the wok and stir to combine and remove from the heat.
  6. In a separate saucepan, add noodles to boiling water and cook as per packet instructions.
  7. Assemble your dish with drained noodles, prawn and vegetable stir-fry mix and garnish with coriander leaves and finely sliced spring onion.

BONUS: Prawns and seafood are also packed with iodine, a key prenatal nutrient to support your thyroid function throughout pregnancy and baby’s brain development too.

Final Words

You may have noticed a bit of a trend emerging over the past 4 weeks, all the recipes and research is pointing towards a way of eating that is packed with plants – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans, herbs and spices and wholegrains. Focusing on lean proteins such as seafood, eggs, poultry and meats in smaller portions and incorporating moderate amounts of dairy falls within the way of eating known as the Mediterranean dietary pattern. This is the dietary pattern that has been associated with improved fertility outcomes in sperm health in men and for some women (under 35 years old within a healthy body weight range) in IVF (References: Karayiannis et al., 2018Karayiannis et al., 2017).     

Start simple, drink water, sit down and eat your meal mindfully enjoying every bite, do your best to bring more food from home and make sure there is an abundance of delicious and colourful plants on your plate and you’re off to a great start to a fertility friendly meal!