There is an increasing amount of research demonstrating the link between what we eat and our mood. Leading many nutritionists to believe that we can, quite literally, eat ourselves happy.
‘Eating happy’ means using nutrition to support the healthy functioning of our brains, as well as our bodies, and adjusting what we eat to help boost moods – setting ourselves up for success in our day-to-day lives.
Potential mood boosting foods include a variety of herbs and spices, like black pepper and chilli due to their being high antioxidants.
So, here's an easy wintery recipe to help boost those antioxidants, and potentially your mood too, through a blend of spices and beans carefully chosen to support your body.
It’s a perfect make-ahead dish too, to feed you through a busy work week!
MOOD BOOSTING SWEET POTATO STEW RECIPE
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)
- 2 sweet potatoes (around 500g total)
- 1 tin of black beans (if you can’t get black beans, you can use baked beans, chickpeas or butter beans)
- ½ lemon, squeezed
- 1 tin of plum tomatoes
- 30g feta cheese
- 1 large red chilli (your choice of type!)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a frying pan on a low-medium heat, add 1tbsp olive oil and bay leaves, allowing the bay to release its scent – around 2 minutes
- Prick the chilli all over, then add to the pan, cooking for a further 2 minutes
- Next, crush and finely slice your garlic cloves, adding to the pan and stirring everything together for a further 2 minutes
- Scrub the sweet potatoes, slice into 2cm rounds and add to the pan to cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway
- Now take your tin of black beans and pour the whole can in, water and all, before adding the plum tomatoes, squeezed lemon, smoked paprika and a little salt and pepper (you can add more at the end, so don’t overdo it at this stage). Bring the pan to a simmer for a further 10 minutes with a lid on top. Keep an eye on the pan, and if it starts to get a little dry, add in a little more water
- After the stew has simmered for 10 minutes, take the lid off and let the pan bubble for a couple more minutes till the stew has thickened. Serve in bowls, crumbling feta over the top.
This mood-boosting recipe was created by Sam Hamrebtan, Luminate’s resident nutritionist and owner of The Loess Life.
Sam has an advanced level 6 diploma in Nutritional Therapy from The College of Naturopathic Medicine and is an expert in down-to-earth nutritional advice. She delivers webinars and workshops on Eating for Mood and Resilience, Nutrition 101, Energy Boosting Nutrition and Nutrition for Thinking and Focus. Sam's sessions explore our relationship with food, the part it plays in our wellbeing, and offer some simple, delicious guidance on how to achieve a well-balanced diet.