What to eat to stay healthy and happy

What to eat to stay healthy and happy

Nutritionist Kerry Torrens suggests foods to fend off the blues – packed with the nutrients your body needs to make serotonin, the happy hormone.

What to eat to stay healthy and happy

Get your daily dose of vitamin D…

Get a daily shot of sunshine with foods rich in vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin associated with better moods. It's found in eggs, oily fish, and fortified breakfast cereals and spreads.

Recipe suggestions:
Sardines with chickpeas, lemon & parsley
Perfect scrambled eggs
Spanish sardines on toast
Salmon & spinach with tartare cream
Baked eggs with spinach & tomato

Lay the foundations…What to eat to stay healthy and happy

Pack main meals with foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan, a key building block for serotonin. Chicken, venison, oily fish like tuna or salmon, dairy foods, soya, nuts and seeds are good choices. Vitamin B6 – found in brown rice, wholemeal wheat, beans and pulses – will help your body to process it.

Recipe suggestions:
Miso brown rice & chicken salad
Soy tuna with wasabi mash
Chicken & vegetable stew with wholemeal couscous
Spiced carrot & lentil soup


What to eat to stay healthy and happyBanish bad moods…

If your low mood is linked to tiredness, increase your intake of vitamin B3, which your body needs to access the energy from food. It's found in turkey, fish, eggs and dairy.

Recipe suggestions:
Spiced turkey burgers
Turkish one-pan eggs & peppers
Thai-style steamed fish
Superhealthy salmon burgers
Perky turkey soup


More omega-3…What to eat to stay healthy and happy

Stay well-oiled! Omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish are vital for proper brain function. Vegetarians should choose a good-quality nut or seed oil. A new favourite of mine is chia seed oil (thechiaco.com.au): high in omega-3, its subtle flavour makes it ideal for drizzling on salads and veg.

Recipes suggestions:
One-pan salmon with roast asparagus
Warm mackerel & beetroot salad
The ultimate makeover: Full English breakfast
Hot & sour fish soup
Roast salmon with peas, potatoes & bacon

Snacks with benefits

Stay healthy and banish hunger pangs with one of these snacks next time you need a nibble…

What to eat to stay healthy and happyDark chocolate

High in protective compounds called flavonoids, chocolate with a cocoa content over 70% has been proven to be good for the heart and help lower blood pressure.




Two of these juicy little fruits count as 1 of your 5-a-day and most of your day's vitamin C requirements – crucial if you want to stay cold- and bug-free. They're also a great solution when only something sweet will do.

Dried fruitWhat to eat to stay healthy and happy

So handy if you're on the go. Ring the changes with dried figs, a fabulous source of iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Add dried cranberries to yogurt, and snack on dates for their potassium and fibre content. Combine with a small handful of nuts for an energising, sustaining snack.

Have you struggled with the winter blues or do you have a secret weapon when it comes to keeping on top of the colder months? Let us know below.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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