Feel Good Foods and How To Eat Them

There’s a whole world of benefits to eating these epic super foods, why not pick some up on your next trip and try out one of these body-boosting recipes at the same time?

Blueberries

These little blue balls of sweetness have long been heralded as a delectable source of much needed Vitamin C, in fact if you shove 150g of these beauties into your gob you’ll get 25% of your recommended dose of the good stuff, not to mention super-charging your bod with the nutrients needed to keep your heart ticking, and your bones good and strong. It’s the flavanoid called anthocyanin that gives ‘bloobs’ their healthy punch, giving them a powerful antioxidant quality common in many other Super Foods.

Try eating blueberries by themselves, as a topping on your usual cereal, or even as way of making your stack of pancakes a little bit healthier. You can also throw them in a smoothie to add some colours and punch to your morning!

Carrots

The carrot as we know it today was cultivated by the Dutch around the 16th century, although the original plant is thought to have originated in Asia as a hard, woody variant. This veggie is often an easy win for kids who will happily gobble it down raw if given half the chance and although they’ve not been proven to make us see in the dark they¬†are packed full of Vitamin A, which helps prevent the loss of sight.

Serving raw carrots with hummus makes for a great snack, or even a light starter. Par boil then blitz carrots in a food processor to add texture and fibre to your curry sauce, or slice then roast them in the oven with a little salt, flour and tarragon to make a healthy alternative to potato fries.

Kale

If you’re not aware of kale yet then you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the last ten years or so. This trendy salad green is packed with nutrients that make it a fantastic base for any salad, as well as a great side. Just a couple of handfuls of kale gives you your RDA of vitamins, K, C and A, it also contains a hefty load of fibre, protein, iron, potassium and fibre. It might be a little tricky getting the kids on this one, but pair it with the right flavours and they’ll be chomping it up in no time.

You can eat kale raw but it’s usually best to blanch it for a just a few minutes to make it a bit easier to chew. Once it’s cooked you can lightly season it and use it as bed for fish, or throw it in your morning smoothie to super-charge your breakfast drink. Pair this leaf with roasted squash with nuts and clementine segments for a deliciously sweet, yet healthy salad.

Beetroot

They might get a bad rep sometimes, but the humble beetroot packs a real healthy punch. The beetroot reached the pinnacle of its popularity in the 19th century when farmers realised that they could convert the veg into sugar. Since then, beetroot has been grown all around the world and consumed by millions who prize it for its rich calcium content as well as its healthy dose of iron, and vits A and C.

Pickle your beetroot up then slice it into a salad to add a splash of colour to your plate, or serve it up roasted and whole with a sirloin steak. Beets are best eaten between June to October, but they offer solid nutritional value the whole year round.

Foods To Calm The Senses

We live in a stressful world.

Research by insurance company, AXA, has found that as many as 4 in 5 British people could be suffering serious burnout as a result of workplace stress thanks to the increasing pressures of an always-on culture.

From the 4,000 respondents to the survey, 59% admitted that taking calls outside of office hours and checking their emails at home often led to them feeling more stressed. When Brits weren’t worrying about keeping up with work they were stressing out over their weight (68%) and paying their household bills (60%).

When it comes to dealing with this stress Britons have a variety of go-to methods. Whilst a third of the respondents said that exercise helped them shake off their worries, a worrying 28% admitted to hitting the sauce in order to wind down, whereas 11% smoked cigarettes to relax. It’s hardly surprising that we lean on our worst vices when it comes to relieving stress, but it is possible to shed your work blues whilst keeping healthy.

We’ve done a little survey of our own amongst our healthy friends and colleagues to see what good foods they eat to relieve their stress. Take a look and see if you’d be able to cook up one of these dishes, instead of sinking into the sofa with half a bottle of wine:

Salmon Stir-Fry

Tammy from YogaMates let us in on her favourite relaxing dish: “As I’m pretty much doing yoga all the time, it isn’t often that I get stressed out but, just like everyone else, I have the occasional day when life just gets on top of me and no amount of stretches can get me calmed down.”

“In these cases I reach for one of my comfort foods, which just so happens to be packed full of the kind of nutrients that are brilliant at pulling me out of my funk and back into my happy place.”

Bag of Nuts

“It sounds silly, but sometimes its the simplest things that can free you of your stress”, says Marko, owner of Naturalates. “Whenever work’s getting me down I reach for a large bag of unsalted nuts and chow down.”

“As long as you’re not indulging in the Honey Roasted or Salted varieties there’s is absolutely nothing wrong with blasting through a couple of  handfuls of nuts to relieve stress, especially when you consider that they’re packed full of selenium which has been cited as a great mood lifter.”

Baked Banana with Dark Chocolate

“I know this sounds indulgent, but please bear with me it is almost definitely good for you.”

Rachel is a fashion blogger and free-lance content writer and says: “There’s something to lovely and warming about a baked banana that it simply melts away any stress that I’m holding onto. Now, this is obviously not something that you can be eating every night, but as an occasional treat there’s really nothing better. I drop a few cubes of rich dark chocolate in with the banana to add an extra layer of sweetness, not to mention a good dose of antioxidants too.”