We’ve all heard the motherly mantra of “you are what you eat”. The way you feel has a lot to do with what you’re putting into your body, especially if you’re going heavy on the fast food/junk food this summer. According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, “food can have an immediate and lasting effect on mental health and behavior because of the way it effects the structure and function of the brain”. Depression has long been linked with junk food consumption and diets lacking essential nutrients, but at the same time we’re a little bit skeptical of this because we rarely experience immediate depression after chowing down on an In-N-Out burger with a side of fries.
I don’t eat a lot of junk food simply because I don’t generally buy junk food but I do indulge from time to time and I think some of us tend not to see a blatant change in our mood/behavior because we know when it’s time to indulge and when it’s time to go heavy on the green veggies. However, I will admit I hate reading article after article telling me to eat healthy (albeit boring) foods and then supplementing it with some equally boring food recipe. I often find my best healthy food recipes are “accidents” where I just throw together stuff I find in my kitchen when I’m too lazy to go to the grocery store. So here I am adding along to the long list of healthy food lists, yet actually providing recipes that won’t make you turn up your nose by just reading the dull list of ingredients. Below are some crucial ingredients along with extremely tasty recipes that will help you stay both healthy and happy.
– J.S. Gates
Spinach promotes healthy red blood cells and a strong immune system. Try this funky spinach quesadilla recipe. Ingredients: 8 oz fresh spinach, washed and chopped, 1 tsp. unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp yellow onion, finely diced 1 tsp sour cream, 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1 flour tortilla 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack ( I like to throw in some mushrooms and or/chopped grilled chicken)
Packed with potassium and B vitamins, bananas provide energy, digestion and a healthy nervous system. It’s also great for healthy cell renewal which is crucial for healthy hair, skin and nails. This was my go to snack during my dancer days. It’s also a mood booster thanks to the Vitamin B, so peel one next time you’re pissed off. Click here, here, or here for some cool banana recipes and don’t worry dark chocolate is still good for you.
One more banana recipe! Half some bananas, stick a popsicle stick through it, spread fat-free vanilla yogurt along the sides and then roll them through your favorite granola cereal.
This may sound a little dramatic, but when you go to whole grain you don’t go back. Sandwiches honestly taste better with whole grain or wheat bread. Healthy carbs give you enough energy needed throughout the day and help fights free radicals. Like I’ve said in another post, you can literally put anything on wheat/whole grain bread and call it a healthy day.
So I discovered ground turkey about a year ago when I went to whole foods and turkey was cheaper then beef and a love rendezvous was born. Turkey is a great source of tryptophan, which has been lined to increase serotonin (feel-good hormone) within the body. I discovered wontons about six months ago, I swear they’re like the best college budget food that is extremely underrated. Click here for an excellent ground turkey recipe.
In college, the only time I ate salmon was if it was offered at our sushi station at the caf. College students let alone young single people simply don’t roll up to the grocery store with salmon at the top of their lists. However it should be, because the omega-3 fatty acids packed into salmon help reduce inflammation of the body’s tissue and is essential for hair, skin and nail health among other benefits. Aside from being raw in my sushi, there’s not many ways I like salmon. Except for in Salmon cakes! Click here for the recipe.
I tried to avoid fancy food recipes on this site because let’s be honest unless your a food blogger or excellent stay at home mom, many of us don’t have time for the fancy smancy. However, we all need fancy in our lives at least once a week so try out this excellent Bleu cheese and walnut tarlets recipe. Walnuts are important for it’s mineral magnesium, which help fight depression, promote healthy bones and teen and strengthen neural connections
Cheese! I’m so glad research has proven that cheese can improve one’s mood. I love cheese on any and everything. As a rich source of zinc and calcium, these nutrients are beneficial for cognitive functions including taste and smell.