“A good diet contributes to happiness”: foods to put on the menu to be happier

“A good diet contributes to happiness”: foods to put on the menu to be happier

The French are less happy than the previous year, according to a report sponsored by the UN published this Wednesday. France, in 21st position in 2023, plummets to 27th place This year. Does the recipe for happiness exist? Several ingredients must be mixed to obtain it. One of them is eating well. “A good diet certainly contributes to happiness,” says nutritionist doctor Arnaud Cocaul, contacted by Le Parisien.

For him, “the foods that make you happiest are raw and seasonal. » Apart from this, fruits and vegetables lose some of their nutritional properties that are so precious to a good mood. “If you want to make someone happy, put more colors on their plate,” the doctor also recommends. Which is good, since spring fruits and vegetables are starting to arrive on the shelves.

“A diet that makes you happy is a diet that prohibits nothing,” adds Dr. Jean-Michel Cohen, who insists on diversifying what you eat. “Eggplant provides a little nicotine, pepper is rich in vitamin C, fish in omega-3, butter in butyric acid, an anti-cancer,” he illustrates. A perfect cocktail to boost your daily energy.

Dark chocolate, sweet potato, fish and red fruits

Despite everything, certain foods should still be favored. “Dark chocolate first, because it has more than 800 molecules, some of which play an antidepressant role,” explains Jean-Michel Cohen. The food is rich in minerals, trace elements, vitamins and antioxidants. It also contains caffeine which is a stimulant.

Bananas, sweet potatoes and grain products… these foods are full of tryptophans, an amino acid useful for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This acts in particular in regulating mood.

Fish, rapeseed oil and oilseeds are full of Omega 3, fatty acids that improve brain activity. “It is not for nothing that Public Health France introduced the notion of taking a handful of nuts per day,” emphasizes Dr. Cocaul.

Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants… red fruits have anthocyanins, which help blood circulation, among other benefits. Adding them to the menu also means stocking up on vitamin C, minerals and fiber.

Conversely, other foods can negatively affect morale. “People who monotonously eat ultra-processed foods are less happy, because it affects their intestinal microbiota, also known as the second brain,” recalls Dr. Cocaul. Pizzas, sauces and pastries, high in sugar, activate the reward circuit briefly. But in the long term, their consumption is associated with greater risks of depression.

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