Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Food that makes us happy

In the past, a long long time ago, people eat food just for survival or because they need vital energy to work. Nowadays, times had changed. We eat food mostly for pleasure and there are more and more people who explore different new kinds of gourmet cuisine. Then came the discovery of the link between food and one's health. One needs to eat certain foods to stay healthy. Whenever there's a craze about certain foods being the next healthy food of the century, people rush out to buy them.

I was wondering. Is there a link between food and our moods? Does food actually make us happy? Do chocolates really make us happy? Does eating tons of ice cream after finding out that guy you gave your number to never called, make you feel better? I did a little bit of searching on the net and found the following information really interesting.

FOODS THAT MAKE US HAPPY PART I

"Recent research has confirmed the existence of a link between eating certain types of foods and the act of feeling better, relaxed and even content, with the production of substances at a cerebral level which determine our state of mind, our performance and our behavior".

Hurray! There's actually foods to liven up your moods! Now lets see what I've found!

BANANAS

"Stress and the lack of magnesium are so closely related that it is advisable for those who lead a very fatiguing life to add foods rich in magnesium, such as bananas. Increasing the intake of magnesium reduces anxiety and makes for better sleeping.

Other sources of magnesium are walnuts, legumes, vegetables and wheat germ".

As I stressed before in my blog about bananas, they are one of the wonder foods. Unhappy? Eat some bananas. If King Kong ate more bananas, he wouldn't have to fall down the Empire State Building, probably not enough giant bananas in the island. I didn't see any, did you? Poor King Kong.

ORANGES

"Two glasses (350 ml.) of fresh orange juice are enough to diminish nervousness, bad moods and depression; low lack of vitamin C, the nutriment which favors the secretion of thee noradrenaline, could provoke irritability and dejectedness.

Also, not eating foods rich in said vitamin prevents the organism from absorbing the iron necessary for fighting fatigue."

One word of caution though: Do not mix orange juice with vodka and think that you'll be happier. It will only make you feel like crap and your puke will sting of the aftertaste of sour oranges. YUCK!

WALNUTS

"Due to the type of soil in which they grow, Brazilian walnuts are rich in selenium, which, according to certain research, are related to pleasant disposition, one or two walnuts suffice.

Other sources of selenium are fish, seafood, beef and whole-wheat bread.

The majority of foods contain one or several of the 20 aminoacids (which are the principal constituents of proteins, both animal and vegetable).

These substances compete with one another to feed the brain. Eating a few slices of whole-wheat bread contributes to our "hearing" the message of the tryptophan aminoacid, to wit "get happy"

Once it reaches the brain, the tryptophan increases the serotonin, a cerebral substance which tranquilizes and enhances the mood.

The secret is in eating the bread before meat or cheese, which are rich in protein, so that the tryptophan may reach the brain before the other aminoacids".

Basically guys, if you find walnuts too expensive, just eat more whole-wheat baked stuff or fish.

CHOCOLATE

"Ninety percent of all women have a craving for chocolate, especially when they are premenstrual or are bored or very tense.

Some experts believe that like many other foods sweet and rich in carbohydrates, chocolate can have a soothing effect; others, however, consider that the caffeine and other substances contained in chocolate could act as stimulants. Be that as it may, the very pleasure to the palate suffices to make one feel happy".

Frankly, I think the high sugar and the constant excuses and myths that chocolates make you happy all over the media gives us a psychological belief that chocolates make us feel better. While it takes a lot of chocolates to make you feel happy, it will also make you fatter and make you eat more chocolates - the cycle might go on until you are a walrus or a whale. Just eat them for pleasure, not as an anti-depressant!

I'll talk more about the other foods I find in my next update!


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