“We are what we eat”, as a famous saying goes. But is it true?
Is there a relationship between what we put on our plates and our mood? And if so, what are the good-mood foods that we ought to eat in order to feel happier and more serene?
In the following article we will consider three different points of view in order to outline an articulate answer which contains as many nuances as possible.
1 - Food and mental health: what science says
Science has shown that there is a connection between nutrition and mental health; much research has been done.
Certain nutrients are indeed essential for the proper functioning of the brain and for producing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, which regulate our emotions, sleep, appetite and memory.
These nutrients include:
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, which have an anti-inflammatory effect and protect nerve cell membranes.
B vitamins, found in whole grains, leafy green vegetables, legumes, eggs and dairy products, which are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and mood regulation.
Magnesium, found in oily seeds, almonds, bananas and dark chocolate, plays a role in relaxation and relieving stress.
Tryptophan, found in turkey, chicken, milk, yoghurt, cheese and nuts, which is the precursor of serotonin, the happiness hormone.
Flavonoids, found in red fruits, bilberries, green tea, red wine and dark chocolate, have an antioxidant and neuroprotective effect.
If taken in adequate quantities and in a balanced way with the aid of a skilled nutritionist who can supervise our nutrition plan with experience, these nutrients can help improve the mood and prevent or alleviate certain mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety and attention deficit.
2 - Food and pleasure: what experience tells us
In addition to science, our personal experience also tells us that certain foods make us feel better than others, right?
Who has never felt pleasure and satisfaction after eating a dessert, a pizza dreamt of for days, or a dish of pasta with that sauce that “only our mother knows how to make”? Or, thinking in the opposite direction, who has never experienced a sudden drop in energy and mood after skipping a meal or eating too quickly?
This is because food is not only a source of nourishment, but also of emotions, memories, feelings and culture.
Food is a way of expressing ourselves, communicating with others, of celebrating special occasions. Food is a fundamental element in our identity and happiness, through which we can find harmony and serenity.
That is why there is no universal list of good-mood foods, but all of us have our own preferences, habits and tastes. What matters is to find the right balance between health and pleasure, quality and quantity, and between variety and simplicity.
3 - Food and well-being: what LAICA has to say
We have been dealing with personal well-being and sustainable nutrition for many years now at LAICA. We believe that there is a very important connection between the two topics, a connection that must be protected and stimulated.
This is why we also insist on the importance of vacuum-sealed storage as a fundamental method for preserving food safely and practically. This does not change for good-mood foods, whether a “science-recommended” food or something that is part of our history and tradition. Vacuum-preservation makes it possible to extend the “life of good-mood foods”, keeping their colours, flavours and consistencies intact.
What’s more, at LAICA we strongly believe that good-mood foods are those that respect nature, health and taste. We therefore promote a philosophy of life based on certain principles:
Choosing seasonal foods that are fresh, local and organic, which provide more nutrients and flavour.
Preparing food with care, following traditional recipes or experimenting with new combinations, using practical and safe utensils that leave taste and properties intact. Have you seen the cookbook that Sonia Peronaci created for us?
Storing food properly, using airtight, vacuum-sealed or thermal containers, which preserve quality and also prevent possible contamination with other foods in our refrigerator or pantry.
Eating with awareness, chewing thoroughly, listening to your body, enjoying every bite, sharing the moment with loved ones. Have you already heard of mindful eating? Do you know what it is?
By following these simple recommendations, you can discover your good-mood foods and live a healthier, happier life. To find out more, keep following our Blog, where every month you’ll find useful information and interesting ideas for your personal well-being as well as that of your family.