No doubt, the rigorous lockdowns imposed in India amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, strictly instructing people to stay home all day long for months together, has taken a toll on people’s mental wellbeing. As a result, stress levels in individuals of all age groups have skyrocketed during this challenging phase, owing to health scares over coronavirus infection, uncertainty about the future and chaotic situations at home. Psychologists and counsellors have even reported a significant increase in the number of patients seeking therapy since the beginning of the pandemic, to overcome their mental health woes.
While consulting with a mental health professional is necessary to alleviate tension, anxiety, depression and ensure a sound mind in the long term, following a healthy daily diet incorporating mood-boosting foods helps to recharge the brain and dispel negative thoughts. Nourishing foods such as nuts packed with the amino acid tryptophan, berries rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, bananas with ample vitamin B6 promote the synthesis of feel-good neurotransmitters – serotonin and dopamine, which uplift mood. Even fatty fish like salmon, tuna are laden with omega-3 fatty acids – DHA and EPA, which augment nervous system functions, while coffee provides caffeine, which stimulates the brain and improves focus, productivity.
Nutritious And Yummy Recipes To Foster Good Moods:
Hmmm, you probably feel these are all boring mundane meal choices to tackle low moods, so we have just the thing for you. Did you know that dark chocolate and matcha tea – a type of powdered, antioxidant-enriched green tea, are also excellent mood-boosting foods? Yes indeed, dark chocolate contains vast reserves of caffeine, theobromine, N-acylethanolamine, while matcha tea is also rich in caffeine, besides L-theanine, which are all compounds that augment nervous system activity, provide instant stress relief, energize the brain and keep the mind alert. So go ahead and rustle up these tempting, nutrient-rich recipes of dark chocolate mousse and iced matcha latte, that will surely lift your spirits and help you stay upbeat in the lockdown.
Dark Chocolate Mousse
1 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 cups heavy cream, chilled
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp whipped cream
1 tbsp chocolate shavings
Melt the dark chocolate pieces in a double boiler setting on medium flame.
Stir continuously until a fluid consistency is obtained and then turn off the stove, leaving the mixture on top.
Thoroughly beat the cream so it becomes smooth and keep it in a bowl at room temperature.
Whip the eggs completely, add the sugar to it and mix well.
Now add the egg mix and whisked cream to the molten dark chocolate and refrigerate for one hour to allow the mousse to set.
Transfer the delicious dark chocolate mousse to glass cups, garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and indulge in this dessert after lunch or dinner.
Dark chocolate supplies generous amounts of bioactive compounds like caffeine, theobromine, which fortify nervous system potential and pacify undue stress, aside from flavonol antioxidants that regulate blood pressure and ameliorate hypertension. A great source of proteins, eggs assist in strengthening muscles and enhance the growth, development of tissues, organs in the body.
Iced Matcha Latte
3 tsp matcha green tea powder
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 tsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Ice cubes, as required
Transfer the matcha green tea powder, water, honey, cinnamon powder to a blender and pulse to obtain a smooth, frothy mixture with no lumps.
Put a few ice cubes in two tall glasses, pour the blended matcha mix on top, almost up to the brim.
Add some milk to this chilled matcha mix and stir well so all the flavours are combined.
Sip on this refreshing iced matcha latte to rejuvenate the mind and bid adieu to all stress, worry and tension.
Matcha tea, extracted from green tea leaves, possesses a treasure trove of antioxidants including catechin, which protects cells from oxidation by harmful free radicals and averts chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, cancer. It also contains copious volumes of caffeine and L-theanine, which enhance brain functions and relax the mind. Milk is bestowed with vital minerals of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, which fortify bones and joints.