The food of love… Here at Little Cooks Co we are massive advocates for the power of food to connect people. Whether it’s spending time together in the kitchen making something yummy, sitting with loved ones to eat a meal together, or baking a delicious treat for someone you love and haven’t been able to see recently; food is not just powerful for our physical health but also our relationships and mental health.

The hormone that is vital to our feelings of love and happiness is serotonin. Interestingly this hormone is almost entirely produced in the gut rather than the brain! The gut is often referred to as ‘the second brain’ and there’s good reason for that – the number of nerves in our gut outnumbers our spinal cords! There is evidence to show that the bacteria in our guts (known as our microbiome) play a crucial role in the production of serotonin, so keeping them happy will help keep us happy! And one of the best ways to do that is to eat fibre, which feeds our microbiomes:

  • Fruit such as berries, pears, melon and oranges
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweetcorn
  • Peas, beans and pulses
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Potatoes with the skin
  • Wholegrains such as brown rice and oats
Seratonin is synthesised via the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid is found in certain foods, and also has the helpful benefit of helping us get a good night’s sleep – and we all know how much easier a day feel’s after a good night’s sleep:
  • Eggs (particularly the yolks)
  • Cheese
  • Pineapples
  • Tofu
  • Salmon
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Oats
  • Milk
  • Banana

All of these are great sources of tryptophan and have been shown to help the body produce serotonin. Eating these foods can help lower levels of depression, improve our sleep and genuinely make us feel happier.

Food really does make us happier and healthier as well as helping us sleep better – and we’re all more lovable after a good night’s sleep!

February 06, 2021