That a healthy and balanced diet has a positive impact on physical health should be well known. Expressions such as "nourishment" or "frustration" also suggest a connection between food and psyche. According to nutritionists, nutrition is one of many factors that determine whether someone is mentally or poorly off. But how can eating do something good for our psyche?
Interplay of soul and food
The influence of food on our emotional wellbeing is based on a complex interplay of different elements. Not only certain foods can have a positive effect on our sense of happiness.
Factors such as the quality of food and the enjoyment of food and the way it is consumed can also be important.
Serotonin as a happy maker
Decisive for the increase in happiness is, inter alia, the messenger serotonin. This controls not only our mood but also the body temperature, the sleep rhythm and the sexual drive. At higher concentrations, serotonin, also known as "happiness hormone", can positively affect a person's mood. On the other hand, if the concentration of serotonin in the body is too low, it spoils our mood.
The messenger substance can be absorbed through the diet. More important, however, is the body's serotonin production in the brain, which can be promoted through a balanced diet.
Controlling serotonin levels via food
Important serotonin suppliers are, for example, nuts and exotic fruits such as pineapple, banana or papaya, which also contain valuable vitamins. Critics point out, however, that dietary serotonin can not directly affect our well-being.
Because the messenger substance that enters the bloodstream in the course of the digestive process, can not cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore not dock where it could achieve a happy effect, namely the brain. That food makes happy, because certain substances act directly on the brain, is accordingly a fallacy.
Increase serotonin concentration
Nevertheless, a balanced diet can indirectly promote the body's serotonin production. The serotonin concentration can be increased by increasing the supply of those substances with the help of which serotonin is formed.
For the synthesis of the messenger substance the organism needs the following "ingredients":
- The basic building block tryptophan, The precursor of serotonin is an amino acid found in foods such as fish, dairy and soy products, but also in Brazil nuts, plums, pineapples or spelled. Incidentally, the intake of tryptophan is slowed down by the consumption of protein-containing food, so it is advisable to take low-protein foods.
- carbohydrates are important because they promote the transport of tryptophan and its uptake into the brain. High in carbohydrates are potatoes, pasta or sugary foods like chocolate.
- magnesium can be found, for example, in broccoli, cocoa or soy products.
For a stable emotional high, you therefore need a varied and balanced diet.
Soul Food: These foods make you happy
Especially popular as "Soul Food" are foods that contain several of the ingredients necessary for the production of serotonin. These include, for example:
- Dried fruits such as dates and figs
- dark chocolate
- whole grain products
Spices against mood low
Even some spices are said to have a mood-enhancing effect. Hot spices can amusing or eroticizing Act.
Pepperoni and chili peppers, but also other types of peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, which is responsible for the pungent taste. The sharpness is processed by our brain as a pain signal, which in turn stimulates the release of the hormone endorphin is initiated.
Endorphins are primarily analgesic, but they also reduce the feeling of stress and promote a feeling of euphoria.
Similar to capsaicin, the piperine contained in the pepper or gingerol contained in ginger acts as well. In addition, oriental spices such as vanilla or cardamom have a harmonizing and invigorating effect.
Indulgence is balm for the soul
For all its focus on a healthy diet and certain ingredients it should Enjoy not too short. Eating does not just mean breastfeeding hunger and nutrients, it should also be a positive sensation.
Indulgence triggers feelings such as wellbeing, happiness and tranquility and is an important component of the food culture. The taste experience as well as the consistency and aesthetics of the food are important factors here.
Therefore, you should occasionally indulge in individual favorite treats. Constant renunciation, as practiced especially in diets, leads to frustration and bad mood.
Food culture with feel-good factor
Enjoyment is not only influenced by the choice and preparation of the food. That too eating as well as the ambience, in which the food is consumed, can have a positive effect on our mental well-being.
Meals should be deliberately selected and enjoyed in peace. Admittedly, the supply of frozen food and fast food and the perceived constant lack of time complicate the implementation of these principles.
As practical as ready meals may be, they usually contain plenty of additives, flavors and flavor enhancers. Those who prepare their own meals can control the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Especially regional and seasonal products are recommended here.
Another tip: A meal in the company of family or friends makes you happier than lonely meals. Even subtleties such as a lovingly set table and beautiful dishes promote well-being while eating.
Please do not be so hasty
In addition, a slow eating rate make people happier in the long run, especially those who want to lose weight. Several studies show a direct correlation between the speed of eating and the development of obesity.
If the meal is "hurried down", there is a risk of eating more than necessary, ie too much, during the meal time. At a moderate eating speed and a thorough chewing of the food on the other hand, the feeling of satiety during eating and hunger is already appropriate.
In addition, the eating process demands our undivided attention. Eating and reading or watching TV at the same time can have a negative impact on taste and eating speed.