After a Christmas season filled with parties, rich festive foods and feeling merry and bright, the reality of the new year can often leave us feeling a little blue.
As the decorations are packed away and new year’s resolutions are made, leading London nutritionist Lily Soutter has put together her perfect recipe ideas, with mood boosting foods to shake up your January!
Lily comments - “Whilst many can feel tired and sluggish and tempted to embark on quick-fix diets, this approach is unsustainable for long-term health and quite frankly takes a lot of pleasure out of our day! Food is there for enjoyment as much as it is needed for nourishment. It’s totally possible to trim down whilst brightening up your January with a diet proven to boost mood.”
Shake up your store cupboard for 2018 with these 3 colourful and delicious recipes, including a 5 Minute Chia Jam, a quick and easy way to start your day the right way, plus Beetroot & Chia Soup – perfectly timed for National Soup Month.
In a bowl stir the Orchard 1 (or a red fruit juice) with chia seeds and beetroot powder. Let this sit for 5 minutes whilst stirring regularly.
Spread coconut yoghurt over toast.
Using a teaspoon, top coconut yoghurt with chia jam.
Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.
This antioxidant-packed low-sugar jam alternative comes with a good dose of fibre, protein and healthy fats, the perfect combination to balance blood sugar and keep hunger at bay.
Research suggests that those who consume breakfast and focus on a blood sugar balancing option tend to have more of a balanced diet, are less likely to be overweight, lose weight more successfully if overweight and have better mental performance, concentration and most importantly mood.
Prick potatoes with a fork. Place on plate and microwave until tender (depends on the size of potato - roughly 12 minutes).
Split in half and place each one, cut-side up, on a serving plate.
Place drained flaked tuna on top of each sweet potato. Top with sliced red onion and chilli, then squeeze over the lime juice.
Mix chia seeds in yoghurt then dollop on top of each potato.
Finally, scatter over the coriander leaves.
Tuna and chia seeds are both rich sources healthy omega 3 fats. 60% of the brain is made up of fat, similar to those found in omega 3’s. Research suggests that omega 3 fats may reduce symptoms in patients with depression.
Tuna is also a source of tryptophan, which is part of a protein molecule and is the precursor to our happy hormone serotonin. By combining tryptophan with carbohydrates such as sweet potato, you can boost absorption and utilisation drastically.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry onion and garlic. Add chopped beetroot and juices along with the stock. Simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat, stir in chia seeds and beetroot powder. Let the soup cool slightly then blend soup until smooth with a hand-held blender.
Return to heat and warm through.
Combine Greek yoghurt and horseradish in a bowl. Dish the soup into a bowl and swirl in a spoonful of sauce and garnish with dill.
Soup is the perfect winter warmer and makes a great replacement for high-calorie stodgy comfort food. The chia seeds provide a good dose of healthy omega 3 fats, which are essential for brain health and mood. Chia also comes with protein and fibre, both of which are thought to have satiating effects.
Soup is a low calorie yet high volume meal, meaning that it's perfect for weight management. In fact, one study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that soup eaters on average tend to weigh less and have smaller waists than those who don't eat soup!
The dark red colour of this soup comes from antioxidants called betalains, which are concentrated in beetroot; research has also shown that beetroot may help to lower blood pressure due to their rich content of nitrates.
CHIA UP... DID YOU KNOW?
- ADDING A TABLESPOON (15g) OF CHIA TO YOUR DIET EACH DAY PROVIDES 3g OF OMEGA 3, 6g OF DIETARY FIBRE AND 3g OF COMPLETE PROTEIN.
- 1lb OF CHIA SEEDS CAN REPLACE UP TO 45 EGGS.
- CHIA SEEDS WERE USED BY THE AZTECS, MAYANS AND INCAS AS A STAPLE ENERGY FOOD AND THE WORD CHIA MEANS 'STRENGTH' IN THE MAYAN LANGUAGE.
- CHIA IS ONE OF THE HIGHEST KNOWN SOURCES OF ANTIOXIDANTS, WHICH ARE VITAL IN THE MAINTENANCE OF HEALTHY CELLS. ANTIOXIDANTS COMBAT THE OXIDATION PROCESS CAUSED BY SUN EXPOSURE OR POLLUTION, CARRYING FREE RADICALS OUT OF THE BODY.