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Eating well: Summer food to make you feel good

Eating well: Summer food to make you feel good

Summer food to make you feel good? Where do we sign!

Sarah McBride, founder of health and wellness centre, Kapucia, shares with us her top tips for eating well for the mind as well as the body.

What makes great feel good summer food?

Summer is great for an abundance of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables that will make you feel great!  Omega 3 fats are essential fatty acids that can improve overall mental health and can be found in pumpkin seeds or walnuts. Carry a handful to snack on throughout the day when needing a boost. Pumpkin seeds double up with mood enhancing minerals as they contain zinc, which is a deficiency has been linked to depression. Steer away from highly processed foods, such as calories laden pizzas or sugary bagels, which can make you feel depressed. Opt for more plant based meals, which contain certain natural chemicals known as phytonutrients that improve brain health and overall happiness.

Keep hydrated.

During the warmer months it’s important to keep hydrated fill up on green leafy salads with cucumber. The flesh of cucumbers is primarily made up of water and is rich in vitamin C, which is great to reduce swelling and can be used to help with swollen eyes and sunburn. The same goes for Watermelon, which has over a 90 percent water content and a combination if calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium making it a more effective at replenishing lost fluids than water is. Adding Chia Seeds to salads or smoothies in warmer weather is a great source of extended hydration as they have the ability to absorb liquid, which when broken down is released into your digestive system. They have the added bonus of helping to beat bloating and keep you fuller for longer.

Five summer feel good foods.

o   Strawberry and Acai Smoothie – a great as a breakfast meal. Chop a handful of strawberries, 1 banana, add a cupful of almond milk and add a handful of Acai berries or 1 tsp of superfood powder – this will give an increased overall level of energy and stamina setting you up for the day. With high levels of vitamin C it aids in a boost to the immune system too.

o   Avocado-  can be diced and added to salads or smashed with lime juice, herbs and garlic to make Guacamole – loaded with nutrients they contain monounsaturated fatty acids to keep the heart healthy and can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

o   Sweet Potato-  baked in some olive oil and cracked sea salt or chopped into wedges and baked in coconut oil until crisp– a great source of Vitamin A and rich in iron to provide adequate energy and a source of magnesium, an anti-stress mineral.

o   Chickpeas-  can be combined with lemon juice, garlic, salt pepper and tahini to create a creamy hummus – they are rich in vitamin B6, which helps combat low energy and a good source of protein. Protein helps fuel the function in the brain that produces serotonin and dopamine, both natural hormones to make you feel happy.

o   Blueberry Nice-Cream –  for a quick, simple and nutritious dessert just freeze a couple of peeled and chopped bananas, whizz in the blender and add a handful of blueberries and spoonful of almond butter – a healthy alternative to ice-cream low in saturated fat, loaded with anti-oxidants and dietary fibre.

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To create your own dishes ensure you are choosing good quality, organic where possible, whole foods. Make the selection as colourful as possible – foods that are richer in colour are known to have a higher level of antioxidants. When choosing ingredients aim to achieve a balance of plants, nuts, grains and oils incorporating as many raw living foods as possible so as not to reduce the vitamin, mineral and salt content from the food.  Choose a combination of both sweet and savoury adding herbs and spices to create a sensation of flavours.

To find out more visit Kapucia