I’ve been looking at functional foods at work over the last few days, not because I really plan to do anything with them, but it’s an interesting trend. One that’s been around for years but never seems to get much traction here in the UK, whereas it’s huge in places like Japan.
But it made me think that there are foods that are supposed to affect our moods and, given the appallingly depressing weather, we probably all need our moods lifted a little! So these five promise to have some culinary answers on how to do that!
Eat Yourself Happy: Nutrients, Foods and Recipes for Optimum Mental Health – well, that’s some seriously big claim. It does cover the science part, talks about different “conditions” and breaks the recipes out into different sections, not conditions. The science part actually looks pretty interesting, but the recipes don’t yet inspire me. But hey, there are copies on at a penny, so could be interesting.
Indian Superspices by Gurpareet Bains – I think this is cooking for all kinds of health, not just mental health. And given how my mood plummets when I have a cold then I’d be really up for some of this food. Gurpareet’s Cold and Flu Preventative Saag with Paneer and Cherry Tomatoes sounds a lot more appealing than a Lemsip! There are also recipes to help with stress, anxiety, insomnia and hangovers. Perfect mood enhancement.
Good Mood Food: Simple, Healthy, Home Cooking by Donal Skehan – there’s nothing to beat great comfort food, and I really like Donal’s recipes. I don’t know that Donal has any particular scientific insight into these recipes but they are geared up to improve your mood, sleeping patterns, energy levels and mental state, so sounds good to me.
The Good The Bad and the Yummy – this will give you food that suits your mood. Hmm, I can think of a few moods it won’t cover, but hey, it’s got the basics covered in that there’s food for when you’re in a good mood, and food for when you’re in a bad mood. Perfect. You don’t get in a worse mood trying to work out what mood you’re in.
Eat Well, Eat Happy – there are very few details on this book, but there are some page shots, and these are lovely looking recipes. They would make me happy to cook and to eat. Granola in the morning and flatbreads for lunch, sounds like a happy day to me.
So, comfort food may have a basis in some sort of science, which makes me feel better about dishing up a bowl of chicken noodles, or even chicken pie and mash. Brighten your day, cook up something great!