Tag Archives: food

Food to make you happy

6 Feb

Give us a smile!

Can food make you happy? A great meal with friends is probably the most common response we got when we were compiling our “Happiness Is…” list to decorate Lahloo Pantry (more on our Pinterest board!). Sure, good company and the delectable flavours of a homemade meal are very important, but there’s more to it: some nutrients can truly stimulate the “happy area” in our brains. The way to happiness could be on your plate! Here are some essential happy foods: 

1. Dark chocolate. 

There’s science behind our favourite addiction (besides tea, that is). Chocolate contains theobromine, an alkaloid that works as a natural stimulant, and tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain uses to produce serotonin, a mood-enhancing substance.

2. Bananas.  

Rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, vitamin B6 and tryptophan. If you want to increase its feelgood factor, eat a ripe banana between meals. Especially good if you’re exercising hard!

3. Eggs

If you’re grumpy first thing in the morning, here’s the perfect breakfast for you: eggs florentine and a pink grapefruit. Eggs are a source of iron that is best absorbed by your body when combined with vitamin C-rich food, such and spinach and citrus fruit.

4. Oily fish

Low blood levels of Omega 3 fatty acids have been linked to mild depression and  poor mood. Eating oily fish twice a week may help you look on the bright side. To maximise the goodness of oily fish, serve it with vitamin E-rich foods, such as nuts and seeds or broccoli and green veg. 

5. Citrus fruit

Bright as sunshine and with similar mood-lifting properties, citrus fruit is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants. Vitamin C protects your body against stress and helps soothe the mind.

6. Tea 

Yes, there’s also science behind the comforting effect of your favourite cuppa. Tea contains L-theanine, a substance that enhances your mood and relieves anxiety. So pick your favourite and enjoy!


Late summer foraging

4 Sep

Though we’re hoping to get a few warm days before the cold season starts, Autumn’s nearly here!  It’s a beautiful time, perfect for a walk in the woods -with the added value of these edible treasures that are now in season! So go foraging while they last!

1. Blackberries: you can pick them from August until October. Choose the darker-coloured ones and place them in containers. You’ll find them in the country, in woodland edges in parks or in urban spots and road sides. They’re very rich in vitamin E, which protects against oxidation. A blackberry and apple pie or crumble is a classic, as it is blackberry jam. We love them on drop scones too.

photo by Ben A. Clough, GNU, Creative Commons

2. Hazelnuts: get there first, before the squirrels beat you! Now it’s the perfect time to pick fresh green hazelnuts, which are very different to the darker ones we find in Christmas. Fresh, with a sweet, slightly vegetably taste, they’re delicious! You can use them to prepare a pesto, adding garlic, olive oil and your herb of choice.

3. Elderberries: picking them can be a bit tricky because of the stems, so here’s a tip: pick them on their twig and then use a wide-toothed comb or a fork or two to separate them from the stems. Pick only the ripe fruit (it’ll be deep purple), as the green berries contain cyanide. Wash them thoroughly and don’t eat them raw. You can use them to prepare elderberry jelly (with apple too) or syrup. They contain vitamin C, A and B.

4. Crab apples: ready to pick now, they can be the base of jellies, jam or pickles (adding sugar, vinegar and spices such as cinnamon and clove).

Happy foraging!

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