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5 foods that make you happy

1. Cauliflower

A good source of vitamin C for boosting your immune system and warding off stress. Snack on cauliflower florets along with cucumber and carrot sticks as crudités before dinner, or if the kids turn their nose up at it, puree cooked cauliflower with a little milk then add it to mashed potato.

2. Lentils

Lentils are rich in iron, essential so you don’t feel tired and run down. They’re also a cheap way of bulking out dishes and thickening stews. Try cooking up red lentils with chopped carrots, onions, spices and water and then pureeing them down for a filling autumn soup.

 

3. Squash

Butternut squash really is a hero food for nutrients, especially magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Great for energy, growth and a boost to your immune system. You can even turn the seeds into a healthy TV snack: toss them in a little olive oil, sprinkle them on a baking tray then roast at 135°C (gas mark 1) for about 15 minutes, until they start to pop. They’re perfect for children’s lunchboxes, too – why not find more ideas for packed lunch makeovers.

 

4. Sesame seeds

Packed with zinc – an essential mineral for producing collagen and giving skin more elasticity – sesame seeds are a great snack when you want to give yourself an energy boost. Try tahini or hummus, or sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over your favourite cereal or salad.

5. Oranges

As well as packing a vitamin C punch, oranges contain inositol which helps the body regulate levels of serotonin and insulin, helping even out your moods and lift you when you’re feeling low. Squeezing fresh orange juice over pancakes makes a nice change from lemon and is sweet enough to replace the need the add sugar.