It’s the time of year when a balanced and healthy diet inevitably falls by the wayside. Diaries are full of parties, we have less time to devote to cooking, and it’s generally a case of indulgence all round. But to help with mood, skin and overall wellbeing, it pays to consume some nutritious (and warming) foods. The trick is to make sure they are delicious. Below, some of my favourite winter recipes for this time of year.
Red Thai turkey meatballs with pak choi and edamame
Turkey is an overlooked protein. It’s bioavailable and lean and contains tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, our happy hormone. It’s a wonderful food to eat to help boost mood during the winter months. Meanwhile, the paste (simply blitz the ingredients together in a food processor) in this meal is full of antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory ingredients, plus it’s great at regulating blood sugar levels.
Seared salmon and cruciferous slaw
Cruciferous vegetables are made up of glucosinolates, antioxidants which assist in detoxification and reduce inflammation. They support efficient methylation (meaning everything from the cardiovascular to neurological systems are more likely to work optimally) in the body due to their folate and sulforaphane content. Wild Alaskan salmon is high in omega 3, which is a key nutrient for longevity – studies have shown that those with high levels of omega 3 (and in ratio with omega 6) have a higher life expectancy.
Minestrone with brown rice spaghetti
This dish is nature’s multi-vitamin! It’s full of beta-carotene, vitamin C, magnesium, folate, vitamin K and B vitamins. It’s super high in fibre, which is great for balancing blood sugar levels, aiding elimination and controlling cholesterol. Plus, it’s rich in prebiotic power, which encourages the healthy bacteria to thrive in our gut, as well as supporting the immune system.