Boost your mood with food! August 14, 2019

by Anna Eat

There may be more truth in the age-old adage of “you are what you eat” than you think! A wholesome balanced diet plays an important part in our mental health, and our diet is, in turn affected by our lifestyle. When life gets busy or hard, it’s not uncommon to turn to food as a form of comfort.

To help you out, the team at HelloFresh have compiled our five favourite mood-boosting ingredients to add to your ‘feel good’ binge.

Lentils

Lentils are a popular ingredient in many vegetarian dishes. They are a complex carbohydrate, meaning they digest slowly and keep your blood sugar levels stabilised. This results in steadier energy levels which may prevent the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in how you’re feeling. Lentils are also a very good source of fibre, which is essential for maintaining good levels of healthy gut bacteria. This healthy gut bacteria has been linked to maintaining a healthier and happier mind. Lentils are easy to add to many dishes and are super delicious! For inspiration, try our hearty Lentil Bolognese.

Nuts

A few nuts a day keeps the blues away! Nuts are loaded with important minerals such as magnesium and zinc that can improve sleep quality. We all know how important a good night’s sleep is for positive mental health! Almonds, pecans and walnuts are amongst the best. Even just a handful a day can provide a good dose of the nutrients to support good physical and mental health.

Salmon

Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that is essential, since our body can’t make it itself. Salmon also contains vitamin B12 which is involved in the production of serotonin; sometimes called the “happy chemical” for its vital role in mood regulation and contribution to our overall wellbeing and happiness. Recipes that contain multiple mood boosting ingredients, such as our Seared Salmon Sushi Bowl, are a tasty way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to feel good! 

Asparagus

Feeling down in the dumps? Load up on asparagus! The versatile veggie is a nutrient-packed powerhouse that can be roasted, grilled or stir-fried. Asparagus contains a good source of folate and there is some promising research to suggest that folate may play a role in helping sufferers of depression. Fun fact: the Chinese government approved asparagus extract as a natural functional food for its anxiety-reducing properties.

Spinach

Leafy greens such as spinach are loaded with iron! Iron helps create hemoglobin, which helps deliver oxygen to the body tissues and brain. A deficiency has a tendency to bring on anxiety, irritability, and even poor concentration. Whilst meat is a great source of iron in the diet, your leafy greens are also an important source, particularly for vegetarians. Our Cheesy Hasselback Chicken lies on a bed of spinach and is a delicious feel good dish. 

So,  kick start your feel good hormones with these five mood boosting ingredients!

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