5 Mood-Boosting Recipes When You Have A Sad Day

1. Avocado & Black Bean Eggs

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Our avocado & black bean eggs make for an impressive veggie breakfast, that tastes just as good for lunch or dinner.

Eggs offer a source of protein, vitamin D, and B12. They also contain choline, a nutrient that supports the nervous system and helps to produce mood-regulating brain chemicals. Not only a healthy (and creamy) source of fat, the avocados in this dish contain vitamin B5 which supports the adrenal glands (home to our stress hormone) – particularly beneficial during times of stress.

What you’ll need:

2 tsp rapeseed oil

1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove, sliced

2 large eggs

400 can black beans

1/2 x 400g can cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 small avocado, halved and sliced

A handful of fresh, chopped coriander

1 lime, cut into wedges

Check out Avocado & Black Bean Eggs recipe for more details.

2. Salsa Verde Salmon With Smashed Chickpea Salad

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Fatty fish like salmon are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are highly anti-inflammatory and may support depression and improved mood. This recipe for salsa verde salmon not only provides a dose of healthy fats, but also offers added protein and fiber from the chickpeas.

What you’ll need:

3 tsp olive oil

1 orange, zested and juiced

2 skin-on salmon fillets

small bunch of parsley (including stalks), finely chopped

1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 shallot or 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and chopped

50g kale

Check out Salsa Verde Salmon recipe for more details.

3. Stir-Fried Broccoli With Coconut

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Often referred to as ‘the calming mineral’, magnesium nourishes the nervous system and supports the action of brain chemicals such as GABA which play an important role in sleep and relaxation. Involved in over 300 reactions throughout the body, it also assists energy creation, bone health, and the immune system. While magnesium can be found in many foods such as beans, nuts, and seeds, it’s particularly abundant in dark green vegetables.

What you’ll need:

6 tbsp vegetable oil

3 1/2 tsp mustard seed

3 tbsp fresh or dried curry leaf

a pinch chilli flakes

4 red onions, thickly sliced

100g ginger, shredded

800g thin-stemmed broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces

100g/4oz fresh or frozen grated coconut or 3 tbsp desiccated coconut

Juice 2 limes

Check out Stir-Fried Broccoli With Coconut recipe for more details.

4. Beef And Bean Chilli Bowl With Chipotle Yogurt

Image credit: BBC Good Food

This protein-rich beef and bean chilli bowl with chipotle yogurt offers a good source of iron and vitamin B3. Iron is involved in the production of serotonin, while B3 helps the body access energy from your food.

What you’ll need:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

250g pack extra-lean minced beef

1 tbsp chipotle paste, plus a little extra to serve

1 tbsp Cajun seasoning mix

2 x 400g cans mixed bean salad, drained

400g can of chopped tomato

1 low-sodium beef stock cube

2 squares 70% cocoa dark chocolate

Small pack coriander, chopped

Cooked brown rice and low-fat Greek yogurt, to serve

Check out Beef & Bean Chilli Bowl With Chipotle Yogurt recipe for more details.

5. Blueberry And Nut Oat Bake

Image credit: BBC Good Food

Not only is our blueberry and nut oat bake a great make-ahead breakfast, but it also packs a serious nutrition punch that’s good for the mind.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and folate which support the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine – key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation and balance. Oats also offer a great source of slow-release energy which helps to stabilize mood and blood sugar levels throughout the day.

What you’ll need:

500ml almond milk

200g jumbo porridge oats

2 tbsp almond butter

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg, beaten

1 small ripe banana, mashed

1/2 tsp almond extract or 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

450g blueberries, plus extra to serve

30g whole, skin-on almonds, roughly chopped

Milk or fat-free yogurt and honey, to serve (optional)

Check out Blueberry And Nut Oat Bake recipe for more details.

Credit: Tracey Raye

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