Food for Mood 6: Sauerkraut

For our final Food for Mood recipe, Caroline from Every Good Thing showed us how to make Sauerkraut.  This is a German dish that literally translates as “sour cabbage” but don’t let that put you off. Sauerkraut is made by the process of lacto-fermentation, where we’ll be using helpful bacteria present on the veggies and a little salt to make a delicious live pickle that will be packed with nutrients, lactic acid bacteria and fibre  – all fantastic for your gut health. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few years, you’ll know something about how important looking after your gut health is! This is a very simple recipe. (more…)

Food for Mood 4: Three very easy suppers

Our next Food for Mood recipes make a very easy supper (and lunch for the next day) with cheap ingredients that are nutrient dense. This is the fourth of six cook-a-long sessions looking at how we can support our mood with food.

You’re busy with your studies and you don’t have time to prep food or even think about your mood. How about making a three-dish meal in 45 minutes that will feed you twice, plus help keep your energy and motivation topped up. (more…)

Food for Mood 3: How to make healthier snacks

Saba James, the Nutrition for Wellbeing Lead from the National Centre for Integrative Medicine, shares three easy sweeter treats to avoid packaged cereal, chocolate bars and ice creams. This is the third of six cook-a-long sessions looking at how we can support our mood with food.

These healthy snacks include dark chocolate – full of magnesium and antioxidants. Dates, which offer a mellow, caramel sweetness with added fibre and minerals. Nuts, which help maintain stable blood-glucose levels with added protein and healthy unsaturated fats. Bananas, which are dense in fibre, prebiotics plus potassium, folate, vitamin C and lots of antioxidants plus they taste delicious.

Balancing our blood glucose helps stabilise our mood and energy which supports our stamina and focus during periods of revision and intense study. It is also essential to enjoy the sweeter things in life sometimes. (more…)

Food for Mood 2: How to make a healthy grain bowl

In our second Food for Mood cookalong we learnt to make a simple recipe to include more wholegrains into our diet. In-tact whole grains, rather than flour-based and processed grains which dominate the western diet, are brimming with prebiotics that support a healthy microbiome which supports our mood and mental health.

Did you know that our gut microbes also produce some of our happy-hormone serotonin and our calming communicator GABA? Our gut (well, our lower intestines to be more specific) is made up of trillions of microbes that can help or hinder us by the species that dominate and how we feed them. The fibre and prebiotics in in-tact wholegrains feed healthier microbial strains which in-turn feed us with the hormones and neurotransmitters we need for a calmer mood and focused motivation. In-tact wholegrains are not the only feeders we can give our guts, a range of colourful beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit can also do the job – alongside healthy proteins and fats to balance. (more…)