Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO!
It’s the dead of winter already (too soon perhaps but the temp don’t lie). We all could use a pick-me-up and some good mood boosting. This week Dara breaks out her Top 5 Foods to Boost Your Mood! So turn that frown upside down and enjoy!
Turkey! (In sandwiches or otherwise)
Did you know that tryptophan can actually help boost levels chemicals in your brain that regulate depression? Serotonin is built out of tryptophan. Do you know what has tryptophan in it? ALL YOUR LEFTOVER TURKEY! So gobble it up straight, or make some turkey wild rice soup.
Coconut is all the rage right now. Coconut water, coconut oil, coconut milk – good for regulating blood sugar, allowing you to burn fat, and keeping the liver running smoothly. Try these delicious lemon macaroons made with nothing but shredded coconut, eggs, and lemon zest – your brain wants these in the afternoons.
Ginger Tea and Fresh Ginger Everything
Do you know why your grandma told you to drink ginger ale when you don’t feel well? Because ginger actually does calm your stomach. Science now tells us it’s also a good anti-inflammatory, helping with joint pain, and whatever other inflamed things are in your body. And it may increase cognitive function, too! Here’s a link to a nice HuffPo article with a rundown of related studies, and links to great ginger recipes too: However, if you’re not wanting to do too too much, just do this: Slice fresh ginger. Pour boiling water over it. Now you have ginger tea! It’s good.
The Darkest of Dark Chocolate
It’s pretty much common knowledge now that chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, i.e., dark chocolate, can boost your mood. It’s science! Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a chemical found in the brain that helps regulate mood, and may even help boost seratonin levels. If you are in the mood to cook, try these little chocolate almond niblets – great for a little energy boost- throw one in your kids lunch box. Great holiday teacher gifts, too! Add dried fruit, or a bit a sea salt if you wish!
Coffee with Grass Fed Cream
All the health food folks are crazy about Bulletproof coffee—that’s coffee with grassfed butter and some proprietary brain-boosting secret oils (eye-roll) combined in a blender. But! Heavy cream is just butter with with buttermilk still in it, so my question would be, why the heck wouldn’t you just put heavy cream in your coffee? Get a nice grass fed cream and some high quality coffee, and Bob’s your Uncle, you’ve got some protein, some fat, and some caffeine. Also, you don’t have to get out the blender first thing in the morning, because heaven knows coffee should be simple and not loud first thing in the morning. We did link to a Bulletproof Coffee Recipe above in case you want to give that a shot too!