How food affects mood: 5 recipes that will make you happier

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

From the rich iron of a steak salad and purple risotto (for clear thinking) to invigorating brownies. Rachel Kelly, author of The Happy Kitchen, shared with British Vogue recipes that energize and help through difficult times.

The whole world is cautiously coming back to life, which had changed over the past few months and found a new normal. To keep the peace in a world that is no longer similar to us, we cling to what we associate with home and safety. A life preserver for many was cooking.

But the ability of food to influence our mood has much more stronger effect than calming down the process of cooking. In fact, the close relationship between diet and mental state or eating behaviours – finally seriously perceived by psychiatrists. The reason for this is the wave of concern because of the quarantine. Our diet affects the microbes in the digestive system as they produce and respond to dopamine and serotonin – our “happy hormones”. In fact, about 90 percent of serotonin is produced in the intestine. It turns out that the microbiome of the gut contains more serotonin than our brain.

As a person with a history of depression, for me, food has become an important tool to set the mood. Along with dietician Alice Mackintosh, we wrote the book The Happy Kitchen: Good Mood Food in addition to the recipes contains the results and interpretation of studies proving the effect of food on the human psychological condition. Here are 5 recipes that prove the theory in practice.

Fatigue is one of the most severe side effects when taking antidepressants. Alice says before you start coping with anxiety first of all you need to boost your energy level: “as soon As you will feel more energetic, you will to train more and better sleep, and both of these points play an important role for mental well-being”. Iron is a fundamental factor to maintain the energy and the level of oxygen in the blood.

The combination of rich iron steak, bright salad and creamy feta cheese is just perfect. In no case do not buy artichokes in vinegar, as well as the characteristic smell of vinegar will darken the natural flavor of the salad. If possible, use a steak of beef, grass-fed – the meat contains more nutrients than beef grown in supplements.

If you don’t eat meat, instead of steak, use dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. Kale and watercress), and edamame beans – all excellent sources of iron. Salad drink orange juice because vitamin C helps with iron absorption.


For two servings.

2 rump steak 250 g (chopped beef steak), about 2 cm thick.

For the filling:

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce;

1 tbsp crème fraîche;

1 tsp horseradish sauce;

1 tsp Apple cider vinegar;

1 teaspoon of honey;

1 tsp olive oil.

For the marinade:

1 handful of chopped parsley;

2 crushed garlic cloves;

6 tbsp olive oil (extra-virgin);

lemon (juice and zest);

4 drops Tabasco (optional).

For the salad:

80 g of chopped flat parsley;

6 sun-dried tomatoes (chop coarsely);

4 artichokes (to divide the core into four parts);

100 grams arugula (washed and dried);

8 red radishes (thinly slice);

70 g feta cheese (to crumble);

4 tbsp pomegranate seeds (optional);

2 tbsp roasted pine nuts (optional).


  1. For the filling mix all the ingredients in a jar and shake it well.
  2. Clean the steaks from solid fat, grease both sides with oil and season with salt.
  3. Heat a pan or saucepan with a thick bottom and put the meat. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. If you prefer the steak the degree of doneness well done, then add another 1-2 minutes for each side.
  4. While preparing steak, make a marinade. Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl that can contain the steak.
  5. Place the steak in the marinade for 8 minutes, turning the meat to other side after 4 minutes. Then move the steak to a Board and cut it into slices on the diagonal.
  6. While the meat is resting, in large bowl, combine the ingredients for the salad. Use? all filling, mix well the salad.
  7. To supply, lay out the slices of steak on each salad and pour it on top of the remnants of the gas station.

Many of us are somehow bitter about the events of the past or the future, which is often difficult to predict. Instead of monitoring the consumption of fast (and not always healthy) food, Alice teaches us to see the concept of such food on the other hand, replacing junk food more healthy. Familiar foods that we normally eat to soothe, as a rule, contain a lot of sugar and refined carbohydrates that trigger sharp “jumps” of sugar in the blood and cause impairment of mood. This chicken pot pie is a healthy alternative. Chicken meat is rich in protein, zinc, b vitamins, and sweet potato is an excellent source of fiber and beta-carotene. If you prefer white potatoes, then leave the peel to save fiber.


For two servings.

500 g sweet or white potatoes;

5 tbsp olive oil;

300 g chicken thighs or chicken fillet (without skin and bones), cut into cubes of 2 cm;

1 leek (cut into slices);

10 brown mushrooms (cut into cubes);

1 lemon (zest);

50 ml of water;

2 tbsp whole wheat flour;

3 tbsp crème fraîche;

or 1 tsp wholegrain mustard.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. If you use white potatoes, then leave the rind and cut it into small pieces. Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Cooking time depends on the size of the pieces, but on average it should take no more than 15-20 minutes.
  3. If you use sweet potatoes, then clean it, cut into pieces, add a tablespoon of olive oil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft (sweet potato is better not to cook, as it strongly absorbs water).
  4. In a pan sauté the chicken with leeks and two tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes. Then add lemon zest and mushrooms and cook chicken for 3-5 minutes more. Chicken must be prepared by 80 percent.
  5. Add the flour to thicken the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add water, lemon juice, crème fraîche and mustard. Then remove the chicken from heat.
  7. Once the potato is ready, mash it with the remaining olive oil.
  8. Put the chicken mixture into a small baking pan (or in two separate small forms), and then put mashed potatoes.
  9. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. You can also hold the cake on the grill to slightly brown the mashed potatoes before serving.

Problems with clarity of thinking can become the harbingers of a concern. Purple risotto with goat cheese and beets just designed to stimulate clear thinking. Purple foods help with “clarifying”, and their color indicates that they contain large amounts of antioxidants. They help the body produce nitric oxide, which improves blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels. Walnuts are a source of omega-3 healthy fats needed to maintain immunity.

This recipe shared Cecilia, a friend of the authors and experienced cook, which helps to develop healthy recipes for mothers with young children.


For two servings.

300 g of cooked or raw beets;

2 tbsp olive oil;

1 onion (coarsely chopped);

3-4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped);

200 g of rice for risotto (or brown rice);

600 ml vegetable stock (warm);

60 g soft goat cheese;

100 g walnuts (chopped).


  1. If you are using fresh beets, wash and trim top and bottom, but not deliver it from the skin. Place the beets in a large pot and completely cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until beets are tender. It will take 30-40 minutes, depending on size of beets.
  2. Allow the beets to cool, then clean it and cut into cubes. If you use pre-cooked beetroot, then just finely slice it.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet and saute the onion and garlic until soft, then add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes. The grains should become slightly transparent.
  4. Add a little water and stir. Then turn off the heat and begin to pour the hot broth, ladle for ladle, constantly stirring the rice, making sure it does not stick to the bottom. During this process, the rice “comes out” the starch, giving the risotto a creamy texture.
  5. When the broth is almost evaporated and the rice is almost ready – it will take 15-20 minutes – add the diced beetroot and half of the goat cheese and mix well. Leave on for 5 minutes before removing the risotto from the heat.
  6. Saute walnuts in a pan for 2-4 minutes, stirring the nuts so they don’t burn.
  7. Serve risotto with roasted walnuts and remaining goat cheese and a crispy green salad.

This recipe uses the most advantages of red cabbage, which is rich in anthocyanin – an antioxidant that, as mentioned earlier, has a positive effect on mental activity. Use a cabbage as a side dish.


For 8 servings.

1 head of red cabbage without outer leaves and tops (about 800 g);

1 tbsp salted butter;

2 baked Apple (peel and grate or cut into small pieces);

2 red onions (cut into small pieces);

2 tbsp BlackBerry jam;

1 tsp ground cinnamon;

1 tbsp maple syrup;

2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar;

1 Cup red wine (optional).


  1. Finely chop cabbage, removing all thick stems.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onion for two minutes. Then add the cabbage and apples.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook for another 30 minutes. The finished dish serve immediately.

We are forever perfecting a brownie that they were soft, useful and gooey on the inside. Despite the fact that they are made for fun when we prepare them ourselves, we can control the ingredients used. Spelt flour is whole grain and will not cause a sharp “jump” of sugar in the blood, as occurs with conventional wheat flour. Brazil nuts contain selenium, which plays an important role in maintaining immunity. Cocoa is an important source of magnesium and antioxidants, which participate in the process of reducing the level of anxiety.


15 square pieces.

10 Brazil nuts;

125 g dark chocolate ( ideally 100% cocoa);

100 ml almond milk;

150 g coconut oil (and some to grease the pan for baking);

250 ml maple syrup;

1 tbsp vanilla extract or seeds from vanilla bean;

50 g raw cocoa powder (sift);

3 eggs;

130 g of wheat flour;

1 teaspoon baking powder.


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease a baking pan and place the parchment, leaving the edges of the parchment paper to “stick” on the sides to make it easier to get a brownie when it has finished baking.
  2. Roast the Brazil nuts in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring them from time to time. Nuts should be lightly brown. Let them cool and then coarsely chop.
  3. Place the chocolate, coconut oil, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook this mixture on low heat, stirring until ingredients are melted and will not work texture and shiny in appearance dough.
  4. Remove the mixture from heat and add cocoa.
  5. Let the mixture for 10-15 minutes to cool and then add eggs, flour, baking powder and chopped Brazil nuts.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 12 minutes. Check the readiness of the brownies with a toothpick – it should remain a little chocolate mixture. If you like a thicker texture, leave the brownies in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Ensure that the upper part was not crispy, otherwise the output will have a brownie like cake.
  7. Remove the finished brownies from the oven. With the protruding ends of the parchment to remove the brownies from the mold. Let it cool and then cut it into square pieces.

Text: Rachel Kelly

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Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

Как еда влияет на настроение: 5 рецептов, которые сделают счастливее

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