Over the past two years, I've come to appreciate the huge impact diet can have on mental health. I didn't realize it at the time, but eating healthy helped improve my mood, energy, perceptions about myself, my body and overall outlook on life.
Though there may be many factors at play here, there's comfort in knowing that diet is something we have control over.
What we put into our bodies can either negatively or positively affect our mood. Some foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies, create chemical imbalances in our brains and even deplete our nutritional stores to worsen symptoms of depression. This is not what we want.
Lucky for us, there are numerous foods that can alleviate depression. And the best part? Many of these foods are freakin' delicious together.
Today, we're sharing this depression-fighting powerhouse of a recipe with you. This Sweet Potato Fries Supreme is a combination of crispy, creamy, flavourful and fresh, with a whole lot of mood-boosting power thanks to the sweet potatoes, black beans and avocado.
Be sure to read the recipe suggestions below on how to brine and make the crispiest, most perfect, oven-baked sweet potato fries.
Sweet potatoes aren't just hands down delicious, they also have a ton of vitamin B6. Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with symptoms of depression, so it's essential we get our fix. But really, these fries are enough reason for me to consume sweet potatoes on a
daily weekly basis.
Black beans are high in magnesium which helps relax our nervous system and balances stress hormones. They're also rich in folate which can affect our levels of serotonin (our wonderful happiness-inducing neurotransmitter).
Lastly, avocado. Not only does avocado contain tryptophan and folate which increase serotonin levels in the brain, it also contains omega-3. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that helps combat inflammation in the brain and balance neurotransmitters that affect our mood. Thank goodness avocado is so good for you or I'd be in serious trouble.
Check out what other foods can help us fight symptoms of depression.
Sweet Potato Fries Supreme
Time: 30 minutes
- 2 Sweet Potato
- 2 tbsps Coconut Oil (melted)
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1/8 Lemon (juiced)
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Water (hot)
- 1/2 can Corn
- 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (cut into quarters)
- 1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 450. Cut off sweet potato ends and slice into 1/4-inch strips. Toss with melted coconut oil, paprika, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Line baking trays with heavy duty foil and grease with coconut oil. Spread sweet potato strips loosely across baking sheet (do not overcrowd the tray). Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Meanwhile, blend black beans with almond milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Next blend avocado, lemon juice and olive oil. Slowly add the hot water. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine corn, cherry tomatoes and cilantro. Set aside.
- Remove sweet potato fries from the oven. Season with salt if desired. Divide onto plates and top with black bean puree, corn tomato salsa and avocado sauce. Enjoy!
Crispier Fries - Soak sweet potato strips in cold water for at least 1 hr or overnight. Drain, rinse and pat dry. Toss in a bag with any starch (2 tsp for each sweet potato) until well coated. Toss with seasonings and oil (avoid salt as it will make the fries soggy). Spread out loosely on a greased heavy duty foil-lined pan and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway. Season with salt if desired.
More Greens - Turn it into a salad by serving it over a bed of greens.
Meat Lover - Top with cooked ground chicken, ground turkey, lean ground beef or organic bacon.
Less Work - Skip steps 3 and 4. Add black beans and diced avocado to tomato corn salsa.