October marks Mental Health Awareness month in South Africa and depression & anxiety are mental health issues that I am particularly very passionate about.One day you’re up, the next you’re down or you’re up and down all in one day – it can be quite draining and requires constant awareness and maintenance of your balance to keep a level-head.
Two ways I do this is through comfort food and yoga. Now comfort food isn’t always a bad thing. What comfort food is to you, isn’t necessarily what comfort food is to me. For some people, it’s simply having a healthy, balanced meal filled with all their favourites and for others, it’s luxuries, luxuries and more luxuries. I’m definitely a mixture of both! But if you’re all about keeping balance the healthy way, here’s a list of five healthy foods that happen to help you feel good too – with some recipe suggestions from me!
When I was younger I absolutely hated spinach but Popeye was onto something! It’s rich in iron so it restores your energy, increases your vitality and improves blood quality.
- Creamed spinach and feta: For me this is best served on top of an awesome steak, chicken breast or piece of hake.
- Spinach and feta stuffing: If not on top then definitely inside of a chicken breast
- In a pasta: Pasta, like soup, feels just like a hug on the inside – and even more so with spinach!
Avo is life – this is what I live by. And, if you love avocado, you know how people like it is pretty much each to his own. For the avo lovers, you’ll be happy to know that it protects against heart disease, lowers blood pressure and keep your eyes healthy.
- On bread (not toasted) with salt and pepper
- On bread (slightly toasted) with topped with salt, pepper and feta
- On bread (not toasted) with scrambled egg and gouda or cheddar (very, very rarely!)
- On bread (slightly toasted) with bacon and feta
- On a pizza with bacon and feta
- In a pasta with either prawn or bacon and feta
Mushrooms is also life but only few would agree, though – or at least that’s what I think. It supports the immune system, prevents damage to cells and tissues, helps lower cholesterol and maintains healthy blood pressure and circulation.
- Fried and seasoned with salt and pepper
- On toast
- Stuffed with feta
- As a sauce: This with fresh fries or on a perfectly done steak or chicken schnitzel – AMAZING!
Green tea gets me through the day. Whether it’s getting through a rough day at work or just fighting the urge to snack on a pack of Lays Salted, it sure helps me. For those who absolutely hate it, green tea actually helps improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol, keeps your blood sugar stable and is a great alternative for sugary drinks. Yes, i know, it’s not food…
Vitamin D – and for me, that’s sun!
Sunlight’s not food for your tummy but it’s food for the soul if you battle seasonal depression. Exposure to sunlight increases the amount of serotonin released by the brain, which boosts your mood and helps you feel calm and focused. So, sunlight is your friend!
Do you battle with depression and/or anxiety? Which foods help you deal? Let me know!