Be happy by eating!

Be happy by eating!

A bar of chocolate helps with heartache, a large, spicy burger helps with frustration, and when we are in love, we are often not even hungry. Depending on our mood, we have an appetite for certain foods or no appetite at all. So there must be a direct connection between our psyche and our diet. But is it possible to boost and positively influence our state of mind with certain foods? Or even counteract depression?

Scientists have looked into these questions in numerous studies and found that certain foods contain nutrients that can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, the so-called “happiness hormones” such as serotonin and dopamine, in the brain.

A lack of these hormones can lead to depression. Depressed people have an average serotonin level reduction of 50%, but this is certainly not solely due to diet.

But what foods contain the nutrients that are supposed to boost the production of “happiness hormones”?


A healthy, varied diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (spinach, broccoli, leafy vegetables, peppers), nuts, pulses, whole meal products and fish provides many important B vitamins, folates and also omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the formation of neurotransmitters. In addition, this diet has a positive effect on the immune system and the intestines, both of which are important for our well-being. Processed foods such as sweets, frozen pizza, white bread or burgers are low in nutrients and are more likely to promote the development of depression.

However, it is unfortunately not possible to feed yourself a sustained stimulation high with fruits containing serotonin, such as pineapples, bananas, kiwis, plums and tomatoes.
This is because the serotonin absorbed with the fruit does not cross the blood-brain barrier, i.e. serotonin must be produced locally in the brain.
This is where the amino acid tryptophan helps, which can actually pass the blood-brain barrier and is involved in the formation of the happiness messenger serotonin. This tryptophan is found in cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, oatmeal and lentils, among other things.

So if you supply your body with fresh, unprocessed food, you have already done a lot for your state of mind – perhaps also because these healthy things simply taste better.

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