Traveling can be a stressful experience – the line-ups, the packing and finding your terminal on time. Unless you miraculously avoid all bumps in the road while navigating through the airport, you’re bound to become stressed out and even angry.
If you ever find yourself at London’s Gatwick Airport you might notice that all your mood swings, fatigue and stress begins to fade once you’ve enjoyed the pre-flight meal. Why you ask? Well, they’re serving up some ‘happy hormone’ foods to keep you feeling cheerful.
The airport, in partnership with nutritionist Jo Travers, has developed meals that will put a smile on your face and make you happy. Some of the brain-boosting foods you can expect to find in your restaurant meal while waiting for a flight out of Gatwick include citrus salmon and fattoush salad (which also helps to regulate blood sugar). Furthermore, airport restaurants are always switching up their menus to offer more happy hormones and enhance your mood.
The connection between diet and mood has long been a topic of study among researchers. One 2010 study revealed teenagers who consumed unhealthy meals were 79 percent more likely to suffer from depression. Alternative research has shown that carbohydrates and protein both work to regulate mood, so if you’ve ever cut out carbs from your diet you may have noticed you were more on edge.
But why does diet have an impact on mood? Food has the ability to trigger our happy hormones in the brain which in turn enhances our mood. Some mood-enhancing hormones include serotonin, dopamine, tryptophan and theanine. Low levels of these chemicals can contribute to fatigue, irritability and overall unhappiness. When we eat certain foods we trigger these hormones and our mood then becomes uplifted.
Whether you’re waiting for a flight or simply staying at home, if you want to enhance your mood and take in more happy hormones, there are foods you can easily enjoy in your own home to make you happy. Some mood enhancing foods include:
- Chia seeds
- Brown rice