Category Archives: happy foods

Baskin-Robbins reports: chocolate is a very happy flavor!

Baskin-RobbinsIt’s possible you already knew that! Some of us here at FoodFacts.com certainly did. But Baskin-Robbins wanted to officially find out which flavor in their 1,000+ variety database was most associated with happiness, so they’ve conducted a study to determine the results.

To help with this project, Baskin-Robbins said it partnered with Juliet A. Boghossian, a behavioral food expert and founder of Food-ology.

According to Baskin-Robbins, Food-ology is an “original methodology that links food-related habits to personality traits and behavioral tendencies.”

Looking to stamp out gloominess and summer funks, Baskin-Robbins handed Boghossian a tough assignment: Find out which of the more than 1,000 flavors in the Baskin-Robbins ice cream data-base are most likely to induce happiness.

Using a methodology that could hurt the thinking cap of a Harvard professor, Boghossian concluded that chocolate, jamoca coffee, very berry strawberry, rocky road, and vanilla are the flavors most likely to uplift a person who’s feeling moody and low.

“It’s surprising to most people when they learn that specific ice cream flavors can increase one’s happiness more than others,” Boghossian said in a statement. “For example, the ice cream flavors enjoyed as a child can actually trigger happy memories, release tension, and remove distractions in the moment. Ice cream lovers can also consume a dose of happy by choosing a flavor with mood enhancing ingredients like chocolate, coffee, almonds, or mint.”

In case you’re wondering why such research has just come to light, consider that July happens to be National Ice Cream Month, which on the Baskin-Robbins calendar is also known as a month of sundaes.

Or ice cream cones, for that matter. As part of its celebration of National Ice Cream Month, Baskin-Robbins said it offering customers “a free freshly-baked waffle cone upgrade with the purchase of a double scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. The offer is available at participating Baskin-Robbins shops nationwide throughout the summer months.”

The study is a lot of fun — especially during National Ice Cream Month. Of course, we have to mention that we’d love to see Baskin-Robbins honor the occasion with some ingredient list improvements. But we’re still happy to know which ice cream flavors are bound to lift a heavy summer mood regardless!

https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/07/09/new-baskin-robbins-research-scoop-chocolate-ice-cream-equals-dose-happy/caamrcAFJVWnbwo2Icl71M/story.html

Happy Foods That Won’t Make You Gain Weight

happy_eating_weight_loss

Foodfacts.com looks into foods that will boost happy brain chemicals while helping you stay slim. When you’re in a funk, your first instinct isn’t to whip up a bowl of lentil soup or pour yourself a glass of milk. But compounds in these foods may help ward off depression, fight fatigue, and reduce anxiety by increasing levels of mood-boosting brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Traditional comfort foods, like those loaded with sugar, saturated fat, alcohol, and caffeine, on the other hand, can actually amplify edginess—not to mention blow your diet. To perk up without packing on the pounds, pick one of these nine healthy eats next time you’re feeling down.

Popcorn 49105main_popcorn

The mood booster: Tryptophan

We hear tryptophan and we immediately think turkey—and tired. Truth is, when the amino acid is consumed with carbohydrates instead of protein, it’s more effective in aiding the body’s production of serotonin, a tranquility-inducing brain chemical. A study published in the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia found that foods containing tryptophan, like mustard greens, pumpkin seeds, and bananas, offer mood-elevating effects. Tryptophan levels are often low in people suffering from depression, although researchers are unclear as to whether the relationship is a cause or a consequence of the condition. The next time you feel down, try 3 cups of air-popped popcorn for 100 calories instead of gnawing on a drumstick.

Walnuts

The mood booster: Alpha-linolenic acid

While EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, and fish oil supplements, have been touted to help depression sufferers beat the blues, a new study of 55,000 women published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid in plant foods like walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseed, is the real star in alleviating depression symptoms. In the 10-year study, Harvard University researchers found that the risk of depression was lower among women who consumed more ALA, a compound previously thought to have few health benefits.

Cottage Cheese

The mood booster: Tyrosine

Low-fat sources of protein, like egg whites and low-fat cottage cheese, are packed with tyrosine, an amino acid that aids the brain’s production of norepinephrine and dopamine, two chemicals that influence motivation and reaction time. Early studies showed that tyrosine could be used to alleviate symptoms of depression, as it is an essential building block for the mood-regulating brain chemicals norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Enjoy half a cup for only 90 calories and stock up on 14 g of filling protein.

sunflower_seedsSunflower Seeds

The mood booster: Selenium

A Nutritional Neuroscience review of five studies on selenium and depression linked deficiencies in the mineral to poorer mood. Another study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine suggests that selenium can help prevent postpartum depression. When 44 postpartum women received 100 mcg of selenium daily, they scored lower on a postnatal depression scale. While Brazil nuts offer the biggest dose of selenium—a half-ounce serving packs 272 mcg—sunflower seeds are a lower-calorie snack option. A quarter cup of roasted seeds in their shells has about 70 calories and delivers 30% of the daily recommended value of selenium, while a single Brazil nut packs around 30 calories.

Lentils

The mood booster: Folate

Skip the mac and cheese and make a hearty bowl of soup your new favorite comfort food. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that of the 2,682 middle-age Finnish men in the study, those whose diets contained the least folate were 67% more likely to suffer from depression. Research suggests that low levels of the B vitamin impair the metabolism of neurotransmitters, leaving your brain short on serotonin and dopamine. Get your folate fix with a cup of lentils, which contains 230 calories and provides 70% of your daily folate and 63% of your daily fiber.

Avocadoavocado

The mood booster: Oleic acid

Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil and avocados, don’t just keep belly fat at bay. They can also ward off a bad mood. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid, increases the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain, keeping you calm. In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Nivarra in Spain found that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, nuts, fish, and olive oil were 30% less likely to become depressed.

Citrus Fruit

The mood booster: Vitamin C

For only 60 calories a pop, it’s easy to get nearly 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C in one place. Skip your orange and you might end up feeling bitter. In a study conducted by doctors at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal and published in the journal Nutrition, researchers found that when vitamin C-deficient hospital patients were supplemented with 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily for 1 week they experienced a 34% reduction in mood disturbance. Even the smell of citrus can put you in a better state of mind. When participants in an Ohio State University study smelled lemons, they reported greater improvements in mood and had higher levels of norepinephrine compared with when they sniffed lavender or unscented water.

Low-Fat Milk

The mood boosters: Vitamin D, calcium, whey protein

While research has linked deficiencies in vitamin D and calcium—two essential nutrients found in milk and fortified juices—to mood disorders, like depression, seasonal affective disorder, and PMS, a lesser-studied compound in dairy products can help you keep your cool in high-stress situations. An American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that alpha-lactalbumin, a component of whey protein, improves cognitive performance in stress-prone individuals by increasing levels of tryptophan and serotonin in the brain.

banana-2Bananas

The mood booster: Magnesium

This portable treat makes a great 100-calorie snack when you’re craving something sweet. Bananas are a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps the brain deal with stress and may help boost mood, too. In a study of 5,700 adults published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, researchers linked higher levels of anxiety and depression to study participants with lower magnesium intake. Bananas are also packed with potassium, which helps boost alertness, tryptophan, an amino acid that aids the body in producing mood-boosting serotonin, and mood-stabilizing vitamin B6.

Information provided by: Fitbie.com