Food therapy: How to eat to feel happy?

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Neurotransmitters responsible for positive emotions are produced not only in the brain and adrenal glands, but also in the intestines. In other words, our mood is directly dependent on the functioning of the digestive system.

“Healthy intestines – a healthy person” – this is the main principle of Mayer therapy, founded in the 19th century by the Austrian doctor Franz Xavier Mayer. Later, this theory was validated in evidence-based medicine worldwide. The essence of the technique is to comprehensively restore the entire body, starting with cleansing and maintaining intestinal health.

Mayer therapist, nutritionist and head physician of Verba Mayr wellness and spa, Irina Popova, explains how to help the bowels return to normal.


The first thing to do is to examine the composition of the gut microbiome. To do this, you need the following analysis set:

— diagnosis of infections, dysbiosis and inflammatory processes. This allows you to determine the composition of microbial markers in the blood;

– utility. One of the main studies of stool for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal conditions;

– Urinalysis for short chain fatty acids (SCFA). It is necessary to assess the functional state of the microbiota and the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases;

– blood test for trimethylamine (TMA), trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), TMA / TMAO ratio. With the help of this study, the nature of human nutrition is evaluated and the development of a number of systemic diseases is diagnosed;

– hydrogen breath test – reveals an increase in the transit time of carbohydrates through the gastrointestinal tract, bacterial overgrowth syndrome, malabsorption and assimilation of some carbohydrates, fructose and lactose intolerance.

These tests will help identify the deficiency of certain substances in the human body and help the doctor prescribe treatment.

Foods that produce serotonin and dopamine

Frame from the movie “Julie and Julia: the happiness of cooking according to the recipe”

One of the most important processes on the way to a good mood is decarboxylation. This is a biochemical reaction that makes serotonin (the happiness hormone) from tryptophan and dopamine (the pleasure hormone) from tyrosine. They are responsible for the feeling of joy, regulate emotions and sleep, increase libido and are powerful antidepressants.

Decarboxylation occurs in the intestine and tryptophan and tyrosine are introduced there with food. Therefore, it is especially important to pay attention to what we eat. The doctor recommends eating foods high in these amino acids. These are nuts, seeds, cheese and cottage cheese, turkey meat, fish and red caviar, dark chocolate, chicken eggs, bananas, avocados, etc.

Foods that Rebalance Your Gut Microbiota

The doctor recommends introducing products into the diet of enriched “workers”. Lactobacillus, biphdobacteria, propiobacteria and metabiotics. They will restore the balance of the gut microbiota and help control emotions.

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Such beneficial bacteria are formed in products through fermentation or maturation. These include, for example, a large group of dairy products – cheeses, kefir, cottage cheese, yogurt, fermented baked milk, curdled milk, etc.

“There are two important points to note here. Firstly, the products used must be natural, farm-quality. Irina Popova, yoghurts bought from the mass market will not have the desired effect, since factory processing and chemical additives kill the beneficial composition. – Second – the body’s lactose ( milk protein). is not lower.

Exclusion of harmful products

To reduce inflammation and fermentation processes in the intestines, it is necessary to limit the following foods in the diet, including:

– gluten (or gluten) – cereal protein. Pasta included in bakery products;

– lactose – milk protein;

– fructose – fruit sugar and the most common carbohydrate. It is present in honey, grapes, dates and other products;

Histamine is the substance that initiates the allergic reaction. It is found in strawberries, peanuts, smoked and canned products.

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According to the doctor, for many products with such a composition, it is enough just to find a replacement. Even traditional supermarkets already have gluten-free bread and plant-based milk.

“You also need to diversify your diet. The more heterogeneous the composition of the microbiota, the better the digestion, advises Irina Popova. Regular consumption of prebiotic and fermented foods will help solve this problem. Prebiotics selectively stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria, especially bifidobacteria, lactobacilli and those that produce butyrate, an anti-inflammatory agent.

Following a healthy diet and regular diagnostic guidelines will help to significantly improve and maintain a positive attitude and general well-being. However, if a depressive state persists for months, even if all recommendations are followed, it is necessary to seek help from a psychologist and psychiatrist.

Source: People Talk

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