How to eat yourself both healthy and happy
We all know there are foods out there that are better for us and those that are not so beneficial to our health, but it doesn’t mean we all make the choices that we should. Fast foods are well marketed to make us grab them when we’re in a hurry and, for many of us, our food choices are dictated by our mood. We’re aware that food can affect how we feel and there’s a reason why, if we’re feeling low, we reach for a sweet snack as the sudden spike of energy lifts us from those negative feelings. But, where there’s a sugar high, the inevitable sugar low looms and, in the long run, that chocolate bar is going to be part of a habit that is more difficult to break.
However, unlike the quick-fix of sugary foods, there are foods out there that are scientifically backed to help you feel happier and will positively impact your mental health. You may be surprised to learn that spinach will actually do more for you than a chocolate bar during those sad times. Though food doesn’t cure mental health issues, most people underestimate the large part it plays in influencing your mood on a day-to-day basis.
Companies like HelloFresh are taking the concept of convenience foods to a new level, understanding that people lead busy lives but that they want to eat well too. Boxes are delivered to your door, full of nutritional, good quality ingredients that are simple to prepare and the correct portion sizes too so no waste should be incurred. Plus, Luxury Lifestyle Magazine readers can get £15 off their first 4 recipe boxes and save £60 off HelloFresh using the exclusive discount HELLOLUXMAG.
So, who better to share his know-how on what we can cook to keep our mind and bodies healthy than head chef at HelloFresh, Andre Dupin. He shares interesting information on how food can benefit us as well as some to recipes to follow to get the most of these super-special ingredients.
According to research, says Andre, people who are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids may be more susceptible to depression and low mood, as these fatty acids make up a large percentage of our brain tissue. It is also believed to be beneficial by lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and it is recommended to eat 1 portion of oily fish a week. For inspiration and an instant pick-me-up, try a Hot Smoked Salmon Risotto.
If there’s evidence that carbs keep you sane, we’re listening. Andre explains: “Lentils are a complex carbohydrate, so they help increase the amount of serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter also known as a happy hormone) in the brain.” They are also a good source of protein, which helps the body repair and grow, so for a calmer, happier state of mind and for a filling meal, try a recipe like the Parisienne Spiced Chicken with Mustardy Lentils and Roasted Carrots.
Chicken and Turkey
Chicken and turkey breast are loaded with tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin, says Andre. It also makes the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, help regulate your sleep, which is important for keeping your mood high. Lean meat is also a great source of protein, with vitamins and minerals including zinc, iron and B vitamins and is a main source of vitamin B12, which is key in the function of the nervous system. For Andre’s favourite turkey and chicken recipes, give the following a go.
Shawarma Turkey Pilaf
Spring-Time Roast Chicken Breast
Crispy-Skinned Chicken Breast
“Spinach is a great mood-booster, and this is because it’s full of iron,” Andre describes, and, if you’re not getting enough iron, it’s likely you’ll start to feel the effect of fatigue. It also happens to be rich in folate, which is good for boosting your levels of serotonin. Spinach is a super versatile veg that suits many dishes and it’s especially good with the rich flavours of curry, like the Butternut and Chickpea Curry.
Get £15 off your first 4 recipe boxes and save £60 off your first month with HelloFresh with code HELLOLUXMAG.