healthy_eatingIt seems that the link between food and emotions starts at an early age. Who among us isn’t guilty of offering a biscuit to placate a cranky toddler?
But if you are still reaching for a biscuit/cake/chocolate (insert treat of choice here) every time you feel cranky/sad/frustrated/happy/tired (insert emotional state here) it may mean you have some unhealthy habits to break.
The thing is, a lot of the time the food or drink we are consuming to deal with our emotions doesn’t actually make us feel better.
If it’s sugary, you may feel good initially but then along comes the sugar slump which makes you want to eat more to get the high again.
Or if it’s not that, the attack of the guilts you might experience after devouring a calorie-laden dessert doesn’t exactly make you feel great either.
So instead of the rollercoaster ride of emotions from the less than healthy choices, why not inject a little ‘natural high’ into your diet every day?
There are so many choices (check out our Calorie Bible for the full list) but today we are going to focus on three of this happy foods – spinach, blueberries and sunflower seeds.

Spinach: 24 calories / 100g

Full of antioxidants, folic acid and vitamin B, good old fashioned spinach can protect brain cells from the free radicals that dampen mood and drain energy. New research has even linked it to preventing depression.
So how can you get more of the green stuff into your day? Check out our healthy recipes below for inspiration.

Blueberries: 47 calories / 100g

If you are craving something sweet, blueberries could be a good option for you. Not only do they taste delicious, they are an absolute powerhouse of health benefits.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits blueberries are the highest ranking source of antioxidants (such as anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, and vitamin A), which target DNA-damaging free radicals.
They are also a source of fibre, which keeps you fuller for longer and helps to stop you reaching for an extra snack.
As if they don’t work hard enough already, catechins found in blueberries have been found to encourage the activation of fat-burning genes in our abdominal cells – which means they can help to fight fat. Is there anything they can’t do?
Here are some great ways to get more purple goodness into your day.

Sunflower Seeds: 160 calories / 28g

These little seeds are a nutrient-rich food, containing vitamins E and B, and minerals such as selenium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and zinc. They are high in protein too, which helps to fill you up.
And they make you feel good! In fact, these little seeds are often recommended as a natural method of boosting serotonin levels (the feel good hormone).
A great way to consume more sunflower seeds is by using LSA in your cooking. You can read more about LSA here.
Here are five healthy options for using sunflower seeds:

Cal Bible
There are 5 other mood boosting foods – if you’d like to find out what they are, check out the NEW Healthy Mummy Calorie Bible.
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