Uplifting lunches to beat the winter blues

by Ruth on February 3, 2014

We’ve had the wettest January on record, the excitement of Christmas has long gone, and spring still seems a long way away. Many of us reach for the snacks to comfort eat at this time of year. But how can we use this to our advantage and make those snacks lift our mood?

Oats

Oats release energy slowly, which helps beat that slump you get following sugary snacks. Have a handful of oat clusters from your favourite cereal or an oat rich flapjack to get you through.

Nuts

Brazil nuts are high in Selenium. Studies have shown that low levels of Selenium can lead to irritability, anxiety and even depression. Just three nuts a day will provide you with your daily recommended intake.

Brazil nuts

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

Low levels of this can hinder production of Seratonin – the ‘feel good’ chemical in the brain. To keep your levels topped up in the colder months, lunch on a salad of baby spinach, cos or romaine lettuce, and beetroot or avocado; all are rich in folic acid. Or slice a mango or orange for your snack; both of these are also rich in folic acid.

spinach

Eggs

Eggs are a great source of the nutrient choline. This helps energy levels and mood. For an uplifting lunch, try adding some quail’s eggs to a hearty salad.

Quail's egg salad

Fish

Salmon and other oily fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. A recent study has shown these could be mood stabilisers. As our brains are about 30% omega 3 we know that oily fish is a great brain food, keeping our cells and neurotransmitters active. Try some smoked salmon trimmings on an oatcake for a double boost of feel good nutrition.

Posh cuts

What are your top tips for ‘feel good’ snacking this month?  Let us know in the comments below, or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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