Recipes made in Italy by Italians in Italian. Translated for You with Love

Here are the foods of good humor

From pilot fish to peanuts, from eggs to passionflower: here are all the foods that help us keep positivity high

A few cubes of chocolate help your mood? Very true, we know, no one denies it, much less science. But you could also eat an anchovy, or a nut, with similar positive effects on your mood. Nutrition deeply affects our state of well-being, understood as health at various levels, including the psycho-emotional one. And there are foods that lend themselves very well to color our mental attitudes with cheerfulness.

The influence of food in this sense is so important that it was talked about a few days ago on the occasion of the World Day for the Prevention of Suicide , promoted by the World Health Organization. Eating habits affect the functioning of the immune system, which affects the risk of depression.

So what are the nutrient allies of a good and healthy mood ? First, zinc and magnesium. And then again the omega-3s, the B vitamins (and in particular folic acid and B12), choline, iron, S-adenosylmethionine, vitamin D and amino acids. And what are the foods that contain all of this in greater quantities? Let's see the main ones.

First of all the blue fish, poor and very rich at the same time : it costs little, and is particularly healthy. In this season we can take advantage of mackerel, of the lanzardi cousins, of the occhioni (Pagellus bogaraveo, which has various regional names, including besugo) or for example the striped pilot fish, with white meat, a strong flavor, perfect also for a carpaccio. Molluscs also have mood stabilizing virtues and help prevent diseases such as depression.

Let's move on to fruit and vegetables. Nuts have a place of honor, rich in magnesium and selenium, among other nutrients. Among the fresh fruit, never give up the famous apple that keeps the doctor away. And it fights melancholy. And if it seems too healthy, understood as too little greedy, try combining it with a dried fruit: spread a little peanut butter on a slice of apple ... staying in the fruit, let yourself be attracted by the yellow-orange: while you can, peaches and apricots , which also rebalance hormones and help keep sadness and irritability at bay.

Let's move on to vegetables, or rather let's stay botanically in fruit: the tomato! Another very precious ally of emotional balance, rich in antioxidants and friend of the immune system. Like many green leafy vegetables , and in particular spinach , which can be eaten raw in salads to enhance their beneficial effects.

Let's not forget the herbs: let's choose valerian and passionflower , which help to control anxiety states. And finally a food that we cannot fail to mention: eggs. V itamins D, E, zinc and Omega 3. And then an egg contains as much as 20% of the ideal daily amount of tryptophan, an essential amino acid in the protein synthesis, and the starting point for that of serotonin, also known as "hormone good mood". Also contained in chocolate, peanuts, dairy products, spirulina algae and sesame seeds, it improves mood and helps you sleep better.

So far we have talked about foods for a good mood focusing on the biochemical aspects, their supply of nutrients. However, we must not neglect the "immaterial" aspects that influence our relationship with food and therefore the effects it has on us. Gudrun Dalla Via, author of the book “I Cibi del buonumore" explained it well a few years ago. Food involves all the senses: touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, and we can skillfully use all of this to increase the pleasure of the meal. A well-set table, well-presented food, beautiful background music, the rituals of preparation, the combination of textures, the choice of colors… Any advice? Avoid the monotony at the table, and prepare it daily as if it were a small party!

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