British-grown goodies to give your mood a boost
FOOD & DRINK | June 1, 2018

British-grown goodies to give your mood a boost

Want to feel on top of the world? Eat yourself happy with some British deliciousness, scientifically proven to boost your mood. Give yourself an extra pat on the back if you also manage to cut down on the food miles and the plastic packaging...

British strawberries

Cardboard punnet of strawberries

How are they a happy food?

People who suffer from depression are more likely to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains than usual. Strawberries, along with blackcurrants, black plums and cherries, contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin, an anti-inflammatory that can help your brain stay healthy and relieve stress... as if you needed any more excuses to gorge on delightful strawberries and cream!

Buying hyperlocal: Head for your nearest 'Pick Your Own' or check out farmers' markets and greengrocers.

Avoiding single use plastic: Supermarkets often truss strawberries up in plastic punnets with a layer of foam padding and protective film. Look for shops and markets with strawbs in cardboard punnets instead. Friendly greengrocers may also let you decant the strawberries into your own container. Leave the plastic punnet behind for reuse.

British spinach

Paper bag of spinach leaves

How is it a happy food?

Ever notice how Popeye's mood improved along with his physique after he had his spinach? No wonder, those green leaves are packed with folate, thought to guard against depressive disorders and make certain anti-depressants work more effectively, and magnesium, which helps us feel more energised.

Buying hyperlocal: Have you ever considered signing up for a local veg box delivery? Spinach is a staple of these schemes and you'll usually see some in most of your weekly boxes through the summer.

Avoiding single use plastic: Steer clear of plastic film bagged spinach leaves as the preparation process actually removes vitamins C and B folate, as well as putting more unnecessary non-biodegradable waste into our environment. Head for the greengrocer or farmers' market and buy your spinach in a paper bag, as this will store longer in your salad crisper.

British mushrooms

Paper bag of mushrooms

How are they a happy food?

Strangely, researchers have discovered that if you expose mushrooms to sunlight, even after harvesting, they produce substantial amounts of vitamin D. So start sunning your mushrooms on the windowsill for a few hours before you start sautéing to take advantage of a free dose of this anti-inflammatory (and thereby anti-depressant) vitamin.

Buying hyperlocal: If you have a nice damp corner in your garden, you might find it fun to try growing your own mushrooms. Alternatively, look out for locally produced and foraged mushrooms in farmers' markets and greengrocers.

Avoiding single use plastic: Why, oh, why do mushrooms have to come in single-use plastic punnets engulfed in cling film? What a waste! Pick out your mushrooms loose using paper bags at the supermarket and greengrocers where possible.

What are your happy foods? And where do you buy your seasonal British treats? Share your tips and comments with us via Twitter and Facebook!

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