Feel More Positive With These 5 Delicious Salad Recipes!

These superfood-packed salad ideas can offer great mood benefits.

Close-up of spinach and avocado salad.

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Did you know that beyond being healthy for you, packed as they are with delicious blends of fresh, whole foods, salads can be great at boosting your mood too? Celebrate the start of spring, and make it a season of salad days; a time for you to thrive with some amazing, pick-me-up salad recipes. 

These fresh vegetable combinations, as BBC Good Food notes, contain key nutrients like omega-3 rich fats, fermented foods, fiber-rich wholegrains, proteins and dark green vegetables known to promote mood balance and wellbeing.

Uplifting wild mackerel salad 

If your lingering winter blues mean that your sleep is not what it should be, and you're suffering from a sluggish lack of motivation, and a craving for comfort foods rich in carbs, this mackerel good mood salad with creamy kefir-herb dressing may hit the spot. 

One of the healthiest foods on the planet, fish is loaded with key nutrients like protein and Vitamin D. And as Healthline shares, the research-backed advantages of eating fatty fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel include benefiting optimal brain function and slow mental decline. 

Studies also reveal that people who eat fish every week have more gray matter, the brain’s major functional tissue, in the parts of the brain regulating emotion. What’s more, multiple controlled trials reveal that omega-3 fatty acids may fight depression. Meanwhile, the vitamin D content in mackerel may lead to improved sleep quality, leading to enhanced mood.

Salad with mackerel.

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Warm quinoa salad to alleviate depression and anxiety

Here’s a superfood-rich salad based on quinoa with spinach and shiitake mushrooms complemented by ingredients like feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. According to the YMCA blog, the ingredients combine to deliver a multipronged approach to help in overcoming depression and anxiety.

As well as being a significant plant-based source of protein, quinoa is also a complex carb that lifts your spirits by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Shiitake mushrooms, meanwhile, which add a rich, meaty taste to the salad, are a source of selenium, according to WebMD, a compound that may help fight depression. 

Blue bowl filled with fresh homemade salad with quinoa, spinach and mushrooms.

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Good mood salad with beets, mandarins and celery 

Next time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, this good mood salad packed with uplifting beets and lemon, and other natural goodness may be just what the doctor ordered. 

Other health-nurturing ingredients in the mix include extra-virgin olive oil and walnuts to nourish emotional wellbeing and brain function, celery, which functions as a natural sedative, and kale to nourish a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Salad with beets, walnuts, feta cheese and mandarins.

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Mood-enhancing white bean salad

Here’s a salad blending several mood-enhancing, healthy ingredients loaded with zinc, B vitamins, and Omega 3. Its creator, dietician Kylene Bogden, writing on  wellness site, The Love Club, suggests it can be enjoyed outdoors when the weather improves, to get a bonus dose of vitamin D.

The high fiber content in beans can be an important nutrient for raising your spirits. This is because, as Randall Beans shares, fiber takes longer to break down in the body than other nutrients, during which time it soaks up excess sugar in the body. This process improves and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, one of the greatest contributors to your mood. 

To white beans, this salad blends mixed dark greens, chopped veggies, avocado, red wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, with quinoa and leftover grilled salmon, being an optional addition. 

White bean salad with greens and avocado.

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A salad for peace of mind with asparagus and spinach

This calming, happy salad comes recommended by the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, and contains  ingredients that promote calm. In their words: “This salad is packed with vitamins and minerals that help to lift our mood, calm us down and promote feelings of well being.”

This salad includes asparagus, walnuts, avocado and spinach. These are mood-boosting foods rich in folic acid, B vitamins, magnesium and omega 3’s. Spinach, for instance, contains magnesium that regulates levels of the “stress hormone” cortisol while its folate content triggers the feel-good hormone dopamine.and promotes feelings of wellbeing.

Fresh salad with asparagus, avocado, and spinach.

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