Diet is closely related to our daily mood because many of our foods influence the psyche more than previously thought. A clever menu design can therefore ensure a much better mood. So-called “happy food” quickly puts you in a good mood.
How do we get happy in the first place?
An important messenger substance in the brain is the so-called serotonin. It is partly responsible for the fact that we feel exultant or saddened. That means, the more serotonin there is, the better our mood. Serotonin is formed in the brain and in the intestine from the amino acid tryptophan, which in turn is a component of proteins. The body cannot produce tryptophan itself, but has to take it in with food. That means, the more we are supplied with tryptophan, the better we can also produce serotonin. However, carbohydrates are also necessary to enable the amino acids to be absorbed by the brain. Several small, high-carbohydrate servings spread throughout the day can help keep the good mood also throughout the day.
Happiness on a plate
Those with a sweet tooth are often in a better mood than those who don’t eat calories, because sugary sweets quickly lift the mood. Tip for all those who want to save sugar but don’t want to be in a bad mood: A few pieces of dark chocolate will help with the afternoon slump. It contains the substances theobromine and caffeine which stimulate the central nervous system. They promote the ability to perform and help to reduce signs of fatigue. However, our food does not always have to be sweet to lift our mood. The serotonin level also increases if you eat pasta with chicken or camembert on wholemeal bread. In contrast to a chocolate bar, for example, these carbohydrates are released more slowly into the bloodstream. This way they fill you up for a long time and also put you in a good mood. Bananas, pineapples, dates and avocados also contain the pick-me-up.
Even our body can produce serotonin, but to do so it needs a protein building material, the tryptophan. It is found in foods such as cheese, quark, eggs, poultry, lean meat, peas, beans, oat flakes, nuts (especially cashews and peanuts) or grains. Very important: The lucky messenger only reaches its place of action in the brain in connection with carbohydrates.
Happiness Generator – Vital Substances
Vitamins are also very much responsible for our wellbeing. Above all are the B-vitamins. It has been proven, for example, that a good supply of vitamins B1 prevents the winter blues. It is found in cereals, wheat germ, legumes and nuts.
Folic acid has a balancing effect on the nervous system. Broccoli, spinach and soybeans are rich of them.
Vitamin B12 is also very important for emotional balance. It occurs practically only in animal foods such as meat, eggs, fish, dairy products and, above all, offal. If you put these foods on the menu frequently, you are also well supplied with vitamin D. This vital substance can be formed by the skin, but only when exposed to sunlight. This is a problem in winter, but can be put into perspective by moving outside despite the cold.
Seafood puts you in a good mood
Seafood such as mussels contains plenty of the protein building block tryptophan as well as potassium and magnesium. Even 5-6 mussels brighten the mood and ensure strong and resilient nerves.
Eating fish is also ideal. It can do a lot more than just protect blood vessels. Several studies show that those who eat a lot of fatty sea fish have a significantly lower risk of depression than those who do not like fish. The researchers believe that this is primarily due to the high content of omega 3 fatty acids. Also two other substances in fish also have a mood-enhancing effect. They belong to the amino acids and are called tyrosine and phenylalanine.
Vibrant colours make you happy
Another kick for the soul are strong colours, also in food. Capsicums, tomatoes, carrots, peas – the sight alone cheers you up. If you want to do something else, you should use fresh herbs with their valuable essential oils. Rosemary gives zest for life, thyme gives new courage, sage makes you feel joyful and parsley provides positive thoughts.
In this sense: You can really serve happiness on a plate. BON APPETIT!