Though the breezy autumn weather today in Beijing is a cause for celebration, there are many of us who are still feeling blue – whether it be due to trouble in the family, negative relations at work or storms in the area of romance. For our pill-popping culture these days, the quick fix for the blues are doctor-prescribed or even over-the-counter anti-depressants, plastic capsules that promise its consumer to be washed over by a sea of happiness.
But for the health-conscious, organic-loving Beijingers who walk amongst us, taking anti-depressants is less desirable than getting the happiness-inducing chemicals by consuming whole foods. It is true that thanks to scientific research (and not just wishful thinking), chocolate bars has been found to trigger feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. But researchers have, for our waistlines’ sakes, found more organic foods that turn our frowns upside down.
According to an article from China Daily
, new scientific research in Australia has proven that a diet high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid converted into serotonin, can improve our emotional well-being. As the body cannot produce this amino acid by itself, we must incorporate foods with sufficient tryptophan levels in order to keep our moods stable. These edible troves of tryptophan include lentils, such as mung beans and sunflower seeds, protein sources, such as lobster, tofu and turkey, vegetables including asparagus and spinach, and fruits such as pineapples and bananas. Hopefully, these foods, consumed in the long run, will work better than Prozac and Xanax.
Photo by rhino neal of Flickr.