Mental Health Cooking: 4 Dishes That Will Boost Your Mood And Soothe Anxiety

Feeling a little down these days? You aren’t alone. Reported rates of depression have skyrocketed since COVID hit, as we all adjust to different ways of working, shopping, commuting, going to school and living our lives in general.

Want to boost your mood or soothe anxiety? Try these four dishes:

  1. Chia Pudding

Want to improve your mood and lower anxiety? Try eating a delicious chia pudding. It’s high in fibre, high in protein and contains important omega-3 fatty acids — these fatty acids are great for your brain: they boost memory and also seem to improve mood and lower anxiety.

The best part of all? Chia pudding couldn’t be easier to make. You simply mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1/2 cup of almond milk (or a milk of your choice) and 1 teaspoon of something sweet (like National Strawberry Spread) and let it sit for at least two hours.

  1. Beef Biryani

Feeling unusually tired these days? Try cooking up some beef biryani.

Extreme fatigue has been linked with iron deficiency, according to WebMD. Cooked beef is very high in heme iron — you only need 3 ounces to get 2.1 milligrams of heme iron.

  1. Khageena (Pakistani Scrambled Eggs)

Do you have a vitamin B12 deficiency? A lot of people do. Approximately six percent of adults under the age of 60 in the United States and United Kingdom have a low supply of this essential brain-building vitamin.

Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be produced by the body — you have to get it from food or supplements.

So how do you know if you have a B12 deficiency? One symptom could be your mood. Deficiencies are associated with depression.

Want to boost your mood? Crack a few eggs and make yourself khageena (also known as egg bhurji in India). Eggs are a good source of B vitamins — two large eggs provide 46 per cent of your daily value of vitamin B12 and 39 per cent of your daily value of vitamin B2.

To make khageena, you need to fry diced onions and serrano peppers in chili powder, salt and black pepper. Once the veggies are cooked add your eggs and scramble.

  1. Smoky Roasted Cashews

Cashews make a great snack throughout the day but did you know they can also help improve your mood? 56 grams of cashews contain 3 milligrams of zinc, which protects the brain against free radical damage. Low zinc levels have been found in people diagnosed with depression.

Looking for a fun way to increase your daily cashew intake? Make yourself some smoky roasted cashews. Simply combine raw cashews with a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin, National Coriander Powder and National Himalayan Pink Salt, pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast in a 325 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Four simple dishes, four scientifically-proven ways to improve your physical and mental health.