3 mood-boosting foods and recipes inspired by our favourite wellness cooks
January is a time when many of us have indulged a little bit too much over the Christmas holidays and our health and wellness goals are a bit off kilter. Plus, in London at least, it's cold and dark, making the commute to work that much more challenging. Meaning it can be a month where we often feel at our lowest and the January blues set in. To help you through this darkest of months, I've chosen three foods that are well known to help boost your mood and selected three recipes for you to try from people who Sarah and I are inspired by: Deliciously Ella, Hemsley and Hemsley, and Madeline Shaw.
Almonds are a great protein snack by themselves and are high in fibre, magnesium (which helps to calm anxiety and improve mood) and Vitamin E - an antioxidant which helps to combat free radical damage in our skin cells, including the brain, making almonds important for mental health.
Try Deliciously Ella's Ultimate Nut Butter made with almonds, pecans and walnuts - it's a powerhouse of antioxidants and omegas. It takes about 15 minutes to make and then you'll have your own home-made nut butter to enjoy! Try spreading on toast or stirring into your porridge. Don't have time or equipment to make a nut butter? How about incorporating an almond milk into your morning routine by adding it to your coffee or breakfast cereal.
Coconuts contain ingredients that have been directly linked to mood-boosting feelings of feeling happier and having lower anxiety. To obtain the most benefits, the best options are to buy raw, organic and extra virgin coconut oil (extracted from coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals) as these are the purest and least refined.
Try the Hemsley and Hemsley Paradise Bars recipe. Made with coconut, honey and dark chocolate (another mood-boosting food due to its high magnesium and serotonin content), they're the perfect no-fuss, guilt-free snack bars you can enjoy instead of sugary sources of chocolate (which are often high in milk and highly processed cane sugar).
There's nothing like a hot brew to lift your spirits, awaken your senses and bring a sense of calm to your day - and sipping a cup of green tea can bring even more benefits. Green tea has many mood-boosting nutrients, such as an amino acid called L-theanine which helps to fight anxiety (read more in this Huffington Post article on the benefits of green tea). It also contains some caffeine which picks you up if you're feeling down, but not enough to over-stimulate and give you the jitters.
I love Madeline Shaw's matcha chia porridge recipe, made with matcha green tea - which contains more antioxidants than green tea and helps fight free radicals, such as pollution. Simply mix all the ingredients together, including chia, oats, matcha and cinnamon and the porridge will boost your metabolism and power you through your day - exactly what's needed this January! With any green tea spare you can mix up a green smoothie to enjoy at the office too.
All three of these plant-based ingredients are found in our (mood-boosting) skincare collection too: certified-organic almond oil is blended in the Organic Facial Oil, we use certified-organic virgin coconut oil in our Organic Lip Balm and matcha green tea in our Green Clay Face Mask.
How will you be beating the January blues? Let us know on social @bysarahlondon and tag a friend who would benefit from these tips.
Written by: Lauren, COO, BY SARAH
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