Is there food that makes us happy? Why do we need to eat chocolate when we feel sad? There is a quite complex system which influences our mood but we can improve it with our diet. When we talk about how we feel we have to refer to hormones.
Serotonin and endorphins are the key substances to generate happiness and wellness sensations; furthermore, they are natural analgesics. Serotonin is synthesised from Tryptophan and Zinc is needed in this process. Another hormone of happiness is dopamine, which gives to the brain pleasure and reinforcement signals in response to a stimulus. A part of this, it has also been found that sad people have low levels of Magnesium which helps to maintain dopamine levels together with phenethylamine. So, because of the diversity in the physiology of happiness, there are a lot of nutritional options to help us to keep being happy.
Food with high levels of…
… Tryptophan: tofu, cheese, bananas, vegetables and nuts
… Zinc: pumpkin and its seeds
… Magnesium: French beans and other vegetables
… Phenethylamine: chocolate
It is also known that low levels of some vitamins are associated with humour changes:
.- Lack of Vitamin B1 produces psychic irritability.
Food with Vitamin B1: corn, cereals, nuts…
.- Lack of Vitamin B2 drives to aggressive changes of personality.
Food with Vitamin B2: milk, yogurt, eggs…
.- Lack of Vitamin B6 produces problems in serotonin production.
Food with Vitamin B6: chicken, fish, bananas, nuts…