Mental health and physical health and invariably interconnected. We often fall sick when we are going through any trauma, big or small. On the other hand, a properly set diet is sure to improve your mental health. Kornelia Santoro, after fighting depression for years, underwent psychotherapy and emerged as a winner, and survivor. Further, she ventures into extensive research on the food that improves your mood and mental health at large. Cooking for Happiness by Kornelia Santoro is the result of the research that she did on various food items and recipes that could help everyone out there.
The highlight of the book is that the author has dedicated sections to various food items. She ensures that the recipes that are out of these food items are healthy, and tasty and improve mental health.
She explains why a particular food item is important for improving your mood and combines it with the best possible food so that goodness is tapped into.
Can you fight depression by simply eating right? Yes, you can. By sheer indulgence. Nourish your brain with Pumpkin Soup. Roasted Chicken. Mexican Beans and Brown Rice. Seafood Risotto Bring a smile to your face with Mashed Potatoes. Goan Prawn Curry. Apple Crumble. Red Wine CakeWeaving together years of scientific research with her own experience of depression, award-winning food writer Kornelia Santoro offers a hundred easy-to-prepare recipes that will nurture your brain and help you fight those dreaded lows. Once psychotherapy helped her conquer her eating disorders, she discovered the magic of eating right, which has since infused her life with a sense of balance that she had not imagined possible. Full of mouth-watering recipes, Kornelia’s secrets will reduce your stress levels, elevate your mood and make you want to eat more!
While I forayed into the possible recipes in the expectation of finding unduly purified versions of food habits, I stumbled upon the notes by a foodie. The author has a prologue for each recipe, a backstory, or the reason why she thinks a particular ingredient is superior in terms of health – physical and mental. In short, the book is not a mere cookbook. It is a cookbook, cum memoir cum self-help book.
As much as we want to skim through the recipes the author’s palpable narration and endearing stories hooked me to the book.
The author has left no stone unturned to call out the hollow exaggeration of the pollution in the food. While the fact that the soil and food are not as pure as they used to be, to count them as inadvertently unreliable is indeed a lie propagated with propaganda.
The author earnestly requests the readers to try dealing with depression with the right diet provided they are not suicidal. The author explains in detail, the functions of various hormones and the foods that release them. For instance, Dopamine is the happy hormone, Oxytocin is the trust hormone, and so on and so forth.
The author fearlessly exposes the baselessness of many scientific studies and assumptions which were proved wrong in the year to come. How butter was demonized as the cause of cardiovascular disease and how the present studies disprove the theory. She has dug deep into the folly of various similar assumptions and provided us with many eye-opening revelations. She has brought about recipes from all over the world, France, Greece, Italy, the US, and more. However, I would have loved to see a more comprehensive inclusion of Indian foods. Of course, I am an Indian and stand by my cuisine.
Have you thought that if you soak the vegetables in water, water-soluble vitamins will be lost? Have you thought that if we don’t close the lid of the vessel while cooking, the nutrients will escape into the air? There are a lot of small but not-so-small tips and pieces of information in the book. I have never given much thought to the varieties of dishes that we can make from pumpkin, till I read the book. I have never thought that salads can be the tastiest item we can have. Overall the book is entertaining, informative, and useful. I have kept it in my kitchen for trying the recipes.