Eat Your Way to Happiness

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yogurt-387454_960_720Changing your daily diet can potentially alter your physical condition. Then how about emotional condition? Here are some dietary tips that can elevate your mood slightly when you feel down, angry, puzzled or without focus.

When you feel down, nuts, milk, sesame seeds, eggs, and cheese can help you feel better. What are the common denominators of them? They are tryptophan and fat. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is known to generate serotonin, the “happiness hormone.” When you consume foods with ample tryptophan, neurotransmitter is produced and activated, which eventually will make you feel cheerful. Fat satisfies the satiety nucleus, making you fulfilling and happy.

Eating chocolate is another key to elevate your mood. Theobromine and phenylehtylamine contained in chocolate accelerate the emission of serotonin, which will instantly make you feel happy. However, dark chocolate is more recommended with its lower content of fat and sugar.

Enough amount of sugar, however, is essential for happiness. Brain consumes 6 grams of energy per hour without special activity. When you get stressed or care about something worrisome, your brain consumes up to ten times more sugar. Remember to eat sweets when stressed.

Spicy food is another good choice. Capsaicin in chili peppers causes irritation and sensation of burning on contact tissues. In order to cure such pain, brain emits adrenalin and endorphin, resulting stress relief.

Nerves can be cured with a warm cup of tea. Teas made with dates or chrysanthemum is especially effective to calm yourself.

However, dietary cure is effective only temporarily. To ensure a happy state of mind for a long time, pay attention to probiotics. While serotonin from brain comprises only 10% of the whole amount, that from stomach comprises the rest 90%. As probiotics are fuel for serotonin, securing enough probiotics is essential to keep yourself away from stress.

Original document available from http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=3987011
Translated by Heewon Kim