Beans and Lentils
Foods such as beans and other legumes and pulses are rich in protein that helps to keep us fuller for longer. In particular, they’re rich in one of the building blocks of protein, an amino acid called tryptophan. The body needs tryptophan to produce another feel good hormone called serotonin. A low level of serotonin is linked to a higher risk of developing depression.
Not only that, beans and legumes are also rich in selenium. Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for good overall health and a deficiency in selenium is also linked to poor mental health and depression.
Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and lentils are all great protein-rich alternatives to red meat, so experiment with using them instead of meat in dishes such as chilli, bolognaise and curries until you find your favourite. Tinned versions are easier to use than dried versions that often require soaking in cold water overnight before cooking.