In winter, when temperatures drop, we are more hungry and often more in the mood of dessert. It is absolutely normal and there is also a scientific explanation: our body must burn more calories in order to maintain the body temperature and therefore it looks for them. Likewise, when we are down, our brain reacts by asking the body for serotonin. This amine, also known as the “happiness hormone”, is synthesized in our body from the amino acid tryptophan. A lot of foods are rich in them, such as turkey, but the way to quickly increase their blood levels, and then reach the central nervous system, is to take sugars.
When we ingest sugars, and our blood sugar rises, the pancreas secretes insulin. This hormone makes the nutrients enter our cells except for tryptophan, whose relative level in the blood therefore rises and, reaching the central nervous system, activates the production of serotonin!
For this reason when we are on a bad day, we feel an extreme need for sweets, chocolate or pasta.
Eating sugars is not the only way to “produce serotonin” but it is definitely the one that requires less effort. And our body often tell us the easiest way. Good alternatives are playing sports, sunbathing, getting a massage, or having sex.
That said, the book we propose suggests a food for every mood. Ready? The peanut to remove the bad mood, the ginger to remove the melancholy, the carrot to overcome the restlessness, the barley to extinguish the agitation, the pistachio to defeat fears.
And they lived happily ever after.
Have a good read!