Take some long, dark nights. Throw in some hefty post-Christmas bills. Add a big helping of bad weather and you’ve got the recipe for the most depressing day of the year… allegedly. Yes, it’s Blue Monday 2020 which falls on January 20.
We could all do with a bit of a pick-me-up at the sharp end of January, whether you believe the Blue Monday 2020 hype or not. And there aren’t many better things to beat the blues than food.
We’re not talking about sitting on the sofa and gorging yourself on crisps, fizzy pop and sweets: although if that works for you, go off! No, we’re talking about some restorative, relatively healthy food to give your well-being a boost…
Omega 3 acids
Found in abundance in oily fish, Omega 3 has been linked to improved brain function. Get your fix of it with a salmon teriyaki, or some grilled mackerel fillets from your local fishmonger with a squeeze of lime. Walnuts also contain Omega 3 if fish isn’t your thing. Try baking them into a cake, or sprinkle over a salad.
Vitamin B6 is said to aid the production of serotonin – that all-important ‘happy’ chemical released by your brain. Grains like bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa are all thought to help with this. So skip the potatoes and use these for your side dish for your Blue Monday meal. Alternatively, add herbs, vegetables or whatever else you’ve got knocking about and construct a healthy and robust salad bowl from your favourite whole grain.
These are a great way of maintaining a good relationship between your stomach and your brain. Bio yoghurts are an obvious way of getting your fix probiotics fix. You could add a dollop to some granola for your breakfast, enjoy for desert, or stir into a curry. Some other probiotic foods include miso paste (found in ramen, above), kimchi (fermented Korean cabbage) and some pickled vegetables.
Folic acid is associated with healthy pregnancies, but there have been a number of studies linking it to your mood. So, to get a fix of folic try spinach, avocado, or chickpeas to boost your intake. Broccoli is also a good source of folic acid, so reach for a bolstering side order for a mood-booster.
AKA ‘the one that you get from sunlight’. This, as we know all too well, is in short supply this time of year. The good news is that Vitamin D is found in cheese, so you’ve got carte blanche to raid the dairy aisle. Vitamin D also found in egg yolks, so get busy with the Spanish omelette. Meanwhile, the plant-based crew could get their additional vitamin D fix from fortified breakfast cereal or orange juice.
It might be Blue Monday now, but lighter days are just around the corner – keep an eye out on our festival calendar for some serious Street Food to look forward to in 2020