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The Menu that Keeps You Happy

Grabbing a chocolate to feel better about yourself might be more scientifically justified than you know, especially if you like you chocolate dark.

Published: 08th January 2014 10:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2014 10:28 AM   |  A+A-

Grabbing a chocolate to feel better about yourself might be more scientifically justified than you know, especially if you like you chocolate dark. Rich in magnesium, dark chocolate could relax your muscles and reduce anxiety and  stress levels. Its tryptophan content could also help keep depression at bay. Some studies have it that some foods could pep you up like in a similar manner as mood-enhancing drugs. Here are some more and how you can use them

Apple

Apple doesn’t need introduction as a health food, but eating the fruit could leave you calmer and more energetic. With iron that could reduce risk of anaemia, rich fibre that would reduce weight gain and natural sugars that could boost you, adding apples to your dessert could make your meal healthier.

APPLE CRUMBLE

Serves 6

Ingredients:

l 6 apples

l 250g caster sugar

l 200g wheat flour

l 120g butter

l Cinnamon powder

Method

Dice the apples and add three-fourths of the sugar and a pinch of cinnamon powder and mix. In a separate dish, mix the wheat flour with the rest of the butter and cinnamon powder. Ensure that the consistency of the mixture resembles bread crumbs and layer it on the apple. Bake for approximately 30 minutes at 150 C.

Green tea

Theanine, an antioxidant present in green tea, too can make you feel relaxed. Green tea is also rich in catechin polyphenols. It helps digest fat, while its caffeine may boost metabolism.

CUCUMBER GINGER

GREEN TEA SANGRIA

Ingredients

l Seedless cucumber - 1

l Water - 2 cups

l Raw honey - 2/3 cups

l Fresh grated ginger - 1 tbsp

l Fresh lemon juice - 2 tbsp

l Cooled green tea - 3 cups

Method

Chop the cucumber and place in blender with all other ingredients. Puree until its smooth and pass through a strainer.

Pour the liquid into a glass with ice. Garnish with a cucumber stick.

Spinach

Spinach is commonly eaten to increase iron levels. However, the folic acid and vitamin B that the leaves contain are also known to pick your mood up. A low fat spinach soup that warms up your body is perfect for the cold weather.

SPINACH SOUP

Ingredients:

l Sliced spinach (palak) - 3 cups

l Finely chopped onions - 3/4 cup

l Chopped garlic - 2 tsp

l Oil - 1 tsp

l Salt and pepper to taste

l Cold water- 3 cups

Method

In a non-stick pan, heat oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook till the onions are translucent. Add the spinach and cook over high flame till it turns to a bright green colour. Add the water and purée the mixture in a blender. When the purée is of a coarse texture, pour it back to the pan, add salt and pepper and allow the soup to come to a boil. hot with toasted bread.

Chicken

High in vitamin B12, chicken can act as a calming agent, helping your body loosen up.

POACHED CHICKEN SALAD

Ingredients

l Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached - 2

l Non-fat Greek yogurt - 1/4 cup

l diced apple - 1/3 cup

l grapes, halved - 1/3 cup

l slivered almonds - 1/4 cup

Method

To Poach, place the chicken in a large pot that fits and add any poaching liquid (water, fresh juice, fat free chicken broth, wine and so on) till it completely covers the chicken by at least half an inch. Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Partly cover the pot, cook for 8-10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave chicken in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Remove the chicken, it’s ready for use. Dice it when warm. Place the diced poached chicken in a large bowl. Coat the chicken well with Greek Yoghurt. Add apple, grapes, and almonds to the bowl and mix in. Eat immediately and store left-overs in the fridge.



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