This month is #FeelGoodFebruary, so we explore the one sure-fire way that makes us all feel good – food!
Believe it or not, food plays an important role in how we feel. Ever experienced being ‘hangry’ when you’ve skipped a meal? What about brain fog at 3pm? Then, there’s that sleepy feeling after a big, satisfying, scrumptious Sunday lunch. Food fuels our body, but interestingly, it also fuels our mind, creating a link between food and mood.
Whether you live alone and cook for one, spend mealtimes with others, or have a care worker help you with meal preparation, here we share our Feel Good Foods to incorporate into your next meal.
Better Brain food
Mental health is at the very core of how we feel. If our brain is not producing the right chemicals that generate positive signals, we feel pretty flat. Serotonin is a ‘feelgood’ chemical in our brain. And, a number of foods can boost mental wellbeing by increasing the levels of serotonin. These foods include eggs, nuts and seeds, turkey and poultry, and tofu and soy. Our favourite is fatty fish such as salmon. Here’s how to incorporate salmon into any meal, any time of the day.
- Breakfast: Salmon on muffin, or salmon with scrambled eggs.
- Lunch: Salmon patties made from canned salmon. Salmon patties can be prepared earlier, and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Dinner: Bake salmon fillets in the oven, wrapped in foil pouches with tomato and green onions.
It’s time to get your blood flowing and your body moving. Physical activity releases endorphins in the body. This natural chemical helps to combat stress, reduce pain, and boost pleasure. Unfortunately, energy is not something we can buy. But, there are foods that help us increase our energy levels. Our body prefers to use carbohydrates as a main source of energy fuel. A steady supply of B vitamins will also help turn food into energy. So, what type of foods does this include? Oats, fortified breakfast cereals, sweet potatoes, eggs, liver and kidney, spinach, and tofu – just to name a few. However, one of the best, and convenient, energy superfoods is the humble banana.
Finally, enjoying the occasional food item of choice is sure to bring you pleasure! Known as comfort food, everyone has their own favourite to pep them up when they’re feeling down. For some, it’s a slice of fudgy cake or bar of chocolate. For others, it may be a bowl of hot macaroni cheese that brings happiness on a cold day. Whatever your comfort food, and in moderation, enjoying it without guilt is bound to make you feel good!
For a helping hand in the kitchen, Simply Helping can assist with grocery shopping, meal prep and even cooking.