Sure, healthy, balanced nutrition that tastes good and keeps you full for a long time is very much in fashion. But who actually gets through all the English and New German terms and designations? Happy meal? Mood food? Food for the soul? No panic!
This post will help you to find your way around the “jungle” of the many, many foods that make you happy. In addition, there are my personal favorite recipes for extra tasty happy dishes. Enjoy your meal
What Actually Is Happy Food And What Does It Trigger In The Body?
Don’t get confused by the English terms circulating on the Internet! Happy Food and Mood Food e.g. B. are almost identical in content. They describe foods that can be more or less clearly assigned to the following groups: low-fat/white meat, fish, vegetables, legumes, fruit and healthy oils/fats.
Ginger, (all) berries, dried fruits, chili, vanilla and (almost all types of particularly high-protein) fish are often cited as prominent individual examples of Mood Food / Happy Food foods. This short list could be expanded at will. Well-known representatives are also legumes, whole grain products, bananas, pineapples, cabbage vegetables and chicken or turkey meat.
It has now been scientifically proven that these foods actually put us in a better mood, i.e. make us happy. Why is that? What happens in our body during and after consumption? The foods mentioned here, which are particularly rich in protein, contain the amino acid tryptophan.
This protein component is converted into serotonin – also known as the happiness hormone – during digestion in the body. This hormone has an extremely positive effect on the human psyche. It lifts our spirits, makes us balanced and, over time, also makes us tired.
“Eat yourself happy” is, therefore, the motto of the happy food diet. In addition to the happy food elements already mentioned, popular “mood enhancers” are also walnuts, kiwis, tomatoes and cocoa. Dark chocolate in particular, i.e. those with a high cocoa content, has been proven to make us happy. But we always knew that chocolate helps against depression, right?
Which Foods Are Particularly Recommended?
In addition to their indispensable function as happiness-makers with a high tryptophan content, the foods mentioned also have other nutritional-physiological advantages, which is why they should be made an integral part of a healthy diet. Here is just a short selection of my personal favorites:
The banana – the “monkey chop”, which is highly praised not only by athletes, is a real all-rounder! A banana weighing 100g already covers 20% of the daily requirement of potassium of an average adult, 12% of the requirement for magnesium and at least 16% of the vitamin C requirement.
The avocado – although it is high in fat, it has almost no harmful carbohydrates. It is also very filling and easy to enjoy with a spoon and a little (herbal) salt.
The pineapple – Doesn’t have to hide itself or its nutritional values either and provides the important vitamins A, B, C and E. With its pleasantly mild sweetness and water content of almost 85%, it makes us happy as the ideal summer fruit.
The walnut – it is also a real all-rounder! Rich in good fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids), proteins and carbohydrates. It also contains potassium (which strengthens the heart) and zinc (which strengthens the liver, skin and hair). Now in summer, it is particularly popular in combination with fresh salads, spreads and cream cheese.
When And How Often Should I Take The “Happiness Makers”?
Since I do not assume that you will only eat the happy food components mentioned here in the future, you can eat all of these without hesitation. For a conscious diet suitable for weight loss, most experts advise eating a high-carbohydrate diet in the first half of the day and foods rich in fat and protein in the second.
So if you z. For example, you can mix a few slices of banana, a few berries or a few chocolate flakes in your breakfast muesli, chicken schnitzel with rice and a light curry sauce at lunchtime and, for example, in the evening. If, for example, you eat a (small) piece of fish with salad or vegetables, you are not only way ahead when it comes to happy food, but you also have a balanced and low-calorie diet.
Which Happy Food Is Particularly Popular In Summer?
On hot days, the fruity-sweet classics are the foods that make you happy. In addition to the already mentioned bananas, pineapples and kiwis, (water) melons, strawberries, grapes, but also lemons, limes and grapefruits make us happy during this time.
Freshly made juices or smoothies (made from some or more of the ingredients mentioned) are also ideal for keeping a cool head at 30 degrees. These simply delicious summer delicacies are perfect foods that make you happy. They have one thing in common. They provide the body with plenty of valuable fluids, which are particularly important in the warm months of the year.
How Many Fluids Do I Need To Drink Every Day To Be Happy?
Food that makes you happy. As in so many cases, it is not possible to make a general statement here either. Depending on the level of activity, however, it should be around 2–3 l (alcohol- and (if possible) sugar-free) liquid. The rule of thumb for a healthy adult is around 35 ml per kilogram of body weight. If that seems like a lot to you, here are two good news: 1. Everything counts to this amount, not just a sip of water at work in between, but also coffee or cappuccino for breakfast and apple spritzer for lunch.
TIP: Do not convulsively try to pour down a large amount of fluid at a certain point in the day in order to get the corresponding daily amount; divide the fluid intake well over the day; drinking in the morning is z. B. is especially important because the body is generally slightly dehydrated after sleeping at night.
When it comes to daily hydration, some people find it helpful to put a large water bottle in sight and say to themselves: “Well, I must have finished this bottle by the end of work today!” It is entirely up to you whether you want to do it this way, it is important just that drinking is not forgotten! 2. Various foods consist to a large extent of water: apples and potatoes z. B. around 70%, melons and cucumbers even over 95%.
In general, it can be said that sufficient fluid intake promotes concentration, supplies the muscles and organs with nutrients and thus increases physical performance and resilience. In combination with a happy food diet, regular fluid intake also increases mental performance. So you can z. B. see water or juice spritzers as components of the so-called “brain food”, i.e. the foods that keep the brain fit. With enough fluids in the body, we’re just fine!
How Can I Lighten My Mood By Eating Habits? What Can I Do About A Bad Mood?
There are a few simple principles that apply here: Watch what you eat! The dose makes the poison. Eat a balanced diet and in moderation! That may sound like trite generalities, but in order to feel not only satisfied after eating, but also happy, you should keep these guiding principles in mind, even in hectic everyday life. There are a few rules to implement them:
- Do not eat what is quick, but what you like. As long as it’s not the currywurst with fries every day, everything is perfectly fine!
- Never eat while walking or standing! Take your time! Eating is more than just taking in food.
- If possible, do not eat at work! The food should be the main program and not the accompaniment. So don’t be distracted! Eating at work is not particularly appetizing anyway!
- Chew your food thoroughly! Don’t just loop it down!
- If you dine in company, have conversations while you eat!
- The eye eats too. Arrange your food on the plate as an appetizing portion!
- Develop eating rituals that promote well-being. These can be small things: a delicious drink, a nicely patterned dinnerware or a “Bon appetit!” Before the meal, maybe some subtle music in the background or a delicious (small) dessert …
These are all tips that can also help you overcome low moods in everyday life. Just try it
What is “Soul Food”?
On the one hand, soul food means “food for the soul”, but it can also be translated as “soul food”, as it goes back to the traditional, African-American food culture of the American southern states. These dishes initially decried as “slave meals” because of their simplicity, have long found their way into North American kitchens and restaurants. And I am downright enthusiastic about the tasty components of this whole food diet.
Fancy small samples? For those who like to eat polenta or semolina, Grits is just the thing. These very nutritious corn grits is ideal as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cornbread, which is very popular in the USA, should not be missing in a rich meal and actually goes very well with everything.
Grilled chicken and spare ribs are just as solid ingredients as sweet potatoes, which are becoming more and more fashionable in Germany. The pumpkin shouldn’t be missing, especially in autumn and winter. Fish and mussels are popular, and the fatty calorie bombs, called hushpuppies (fried balls made from flour, cornmeal and buttermilk), are a real storm of enthusiasm.
The soul food kitchen favors cola or iced tea as drinks to eat. Yes, but wait! Isn’t soul food way too greasy and doesn’t it have too much sugar? Can I even eat that?
The answer: Of course you can. Today “soul food” is much more than just typical dishes from the American southern states. Rather, it is a generic term for a rich, very nutritious and tasty meal that can also be vegetarian (and even vegan). Many ingredients are also fantastic as party food.
In general, there is nothing wrong with having soul food days a week (even during dieting times). Experience a real sense of well-being with the tasty good mood makers from this trendy kitchen. Incidentally, German and European dishes can also be wonderfully integrated into a soul food dish. Please note the following recipes.