Foods that cheer you up
13 December 2017 Share

Foods that cheer you up

Our mood is directly affected by our diet.    Asst. Prof. Ruhan Aşkın Uzel, Head of the Food Processing Programme at Yaşar University Vocational School, noted that brain functions are influenced by the foods we consume, referring to turkey, chocolate, honey, hazelnut, banana and green leafy vegetables as the types of food that cheer us up.  

   Highlighting that some foods should be considered together with their effects on mood in addition to their physiological effects, Asst. Prof. Uzel also said, “Some foods have energizing and relaxing effects. For example, turkey, chocolate, honey, hazelnut, banana, fig, walnuts, green leafy vegetables and fruits are known as the varieties of food that give us happiness. Cinnamon, thyme, mint, cumin, ginger, and fennel have also that potential to cheer us up indirectly as they are known for their relaxing effect. These foods are known to have an uplifting effect. They achieve this by working on different hormones following their intake.” 


To give information about how foods make us happy, Uzel also noted, “For example chocolate, its tryptophane and phenylethylamine contents give it a stimulative effect on body. What activates brain is these components that are taken into body. Following the activation of brain, endorphins and serotonin secretion exceeds the normal levels in the body. Even a small amount of chocolate consumed regulates the secretion of endorphins and serotonin hormones, making that person feel happy again. However, the essential thing here is that high-cocoa content chocolate should be preferred instead of high-fat chocolate; and -of course- it is also important not to eat excessive amounts of chocolate.”


Just like chocolate; carbohydrates such as lentil, chickpeas, peas, hazelnut, walnut have also uplifting effect, according to Uzel. “Additionally, fruits such as banana and fig contain tryptophan amino acid that triggers serotonin secretion. Green leafy vegetables including broccoli and spinach, as well as potatoes have the same effect. Intestinal system bears great importance at this point, I should note. A properly-functioning intestinal system has positive effects on how a person feels, and green leafy vegetables and fruits are of utmost importance for a healthy digestive system,” also said Uzel.