Improve your Mood with these Healthy Meal Ideas
Your mental health and mood often starts with how you eat.
People are always telling us that we are what we eat, and research has shown that more often than not, people who are suffering from certain mental health problems, such as depression, stress, low mood and anxiety could be lacking in specific vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, most of the time when we are feeling down, or a bit low we crave sugary, and unhealthy food choices, which might give us a temporary boost, but in the long run will simply not help at all.
Here are some great recipes that will help to shift depression, stress and anxiety, and generally make you feel better in yourself. It really is feel-good food.
Spicy pork curry:
This recipe contains turmeric, which is an absolutely fantastic mood lifter. When served with brown rice as well, it becomes even better, as this is believed to fight depression thanks to its slow-release energy, B vitamins and folic acid content.
- 1tbsp rice bran or coconut oil
- 400g diced, lean pork
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 large red chilli, which has been deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 tsp garam masala powder
- ¼ cup malt vinegar
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- 2 cups grated cauliflower
- 1 cup brown rice
- 20ml natural Greek yoghurt
Start by sprinkling the turmeric over the pork before stirring well, and setting aside. In a saucepan, add the oil, garlic, ginger and onion and saute until they have become softened. Add the pork to the pan, and continue to cook for a further five minutes whilst stirring.
Next, add the chilli, garam masala, malt vinegar and boiling water to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Whilst this is cooking, in a separate medium-sized saucepan bring some water to a boil and add the rice and cook as the packet suggests. 1 minute before the rice is cooked, steam the cauliflower in a basket above the pan.
After a couple of minutes, take the rice and cauliflower off of the heat, rinse and strain the rice. Mix together well, and serve evenly. Finally, remove the curry from the heat and stir through the Greek yoghurt, before spooning this mixture over the rice.
Research has highlighted the importance of omega-3 and fish when it comes to treating depression naturally and improving your mood. Instead of relying on supplements, why not try this delicious recipe which can feature in your meal plans to ensure that you are getting a boost in fish oils.
- 4, 120g fillets of salmon with the skin kept on
- 1 bunch basil
- ¼ cup of pine nuts
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tin foil
- Oil spray
In a frying pan, begin by dry frying the pine nuts until they are slightly brown. Do not leave them, as this will happen very quickly. Once browned, place in a blender with the basil, oil and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend well until combined.
Next, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and get a baking tray and spray it with the spray oil, before placing your salmon fillets, fish down on the tray. Make a small incision in the middle of the fillet using a sharp knife. Cover the top of the salmon, with the pesto, ensuring it gets stuffed into the incision that you just made, before covering the tray with tin foil.
Place in the oven for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. This dish is best served with broccoli, wilted spinach and some potatoes.
Spinach and feta frittata:
This recipe is absolutely packed full of all great things that can help to fight the blues and improve your mood. All of the ingredients used contain tryptophan, which can help the body to produce serotonin, which is the natural feel-good hormone. It is incredibly easy to make as well, so you will not have to spend hours slaving over a hot stove.
- 1tsp olive oil
- ½ small onion, finely sliced
- 1 tsp garlic
- 250g baby spinach leaves
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by preheating your grill to a medium-high heat. Using an oven-safe non-stick frying pan, heat the oil on the hob over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it begins to brown, add the spinach and toss the pan until it begins to wilt. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, and add the cooled spinach and onion, before adding the crumbled feta. Season with salt and pepper.
Place the frying pan back onto the hob and over a medium heat, add the egg mixture and stir gently with a spatula until you feel the egg begin to set on the bottom of the pan. Take this off the heat, allowing the egg to remain runny.
Place the pan directly under your preheated grill for 2-3 minutes, or until the frittata is golden and cooked through. Flip the frittata onto a plate, by placing the plate on top of the pan and turning quickly but carefully to allow the frittata to become released.
Serve on its own, hot or cold, or with a crispy side salad.