Way to happiness is through the belly

Way to happiness is through the belly

A cup of freshly brewed coffee, a leg of lamb, a bar of chocolate, a bowl of salad or an artistic bakery showpiece - what makes you feel happy? One of these or some other food is capable of atleast bringing a smile on the face. So as March 20 - International Day of Happiness (as observed by the United Nations) approaches, Metrolife explores the potential of food in ushering happiness in our lives.

“But different foods have different meaning for different people,” says Dr Sayara Ansari, consultant psychologist, Columbia Asia Hospital. “When mothers of affluent families come to me, they often complain that their children don’t eat. Since the young ones have been forcefully fed from quite a young age, they don’t get excited at the idea of food unless it is junk food. The other reason of happiness through foods is when one gets an access to a particular food, denied to him or her. For instance, if a person with high cholesterol who is denied fried foods, sees French fries, he or she is bound to feel happy and grab it immediately. It is the craving for a food that induces happiness.” 

For some, eating is one of the greatest pleasures. So an indulgence in chocolates or sweets at any time of the day isn’t considered a crime. It is scientifically proven that sweets make people salivate. The adrenaline rush in body is not just on eating but also seeing desserts.

“Especially when one sees dripping ice cream or chocolate sauce, it attracts people more,” says Sangeeta Khanna, food and nutrition consultant. So, the other aspect that connects food with happiness is its presentation. Khanna shares an anecdote, “I don’t like eating white chocolate so I experimented with it in a new format. I melted some white chocolate and added chopped dried fruits to it. After freezing the colourful appearance of the bar looked so impressive that it was consumed by everyone in my family within no time!” 

Explicitly, for some, the sight of fresh fruits is sufficient to make them feel happy. But it is lesser known that the low levels of magnesium can be linked to increased risk of depression. So just incase you feel upset during afternoons in the presently changing weather, try munching onsome walnuts which are high in magnesium and don’t
spike insulin.

For a chocolate lover, a switch to dark chocolate would be helpful. Considered as one of the biggest mood boosters, it just doesn’t give instant pleasure but has amazing antioxidant power.

Even coffee is known to uplift the mood but if you want to bring a smile to a tea drinker’s face then try serving a cup of green tea in transparent cup. The look of it is appealing considering the presentation aspect in mind.

It is for this reason, restaurants invest a lot in their cutlery, dishes and creating ambience alongside trying different versions of plating. So the next time you want to make someone happy, chocolate is of course there but it isn’t the only choice!

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