Little wonder that foods such as pizza, curry and sunny-side up eggs are so deliciously addictive: Apart from making you want to reach for an additional helping, the release of feel-good chemicals in our brains – triggered when we consume these foodie-favourites – also help us combat the blues. Just remember to eat them in moderation – lest the resulting spare-tyre cause even more stress.
A UK study has shown that just thinking about your favourite curry can spice up your heart rate. “We see an increase in blood pressure and heart rate similar to sexual arousal,” says author Professor Stephen Gray. The research found that the medium-hot Kashmiri lamb dish, rogan josh, was the most effective. It contains enough spice to trigger a mass endorphin rush that will inject an extra chemical hit of pleasure. This calorie-burning dry chicken curry with red capsicum
dish will not only trigger more endorphins, it'll also give you protein to build muscle.
According to the Journal of Food Science, phenylethylamine, a chemical related to amphetamines and found in cheese, triggers the brain into releasing mood-boosting hormones that will rocket the buzz of your big night in. Cheeses, such as mozzarella, also pump you full of norepinephrine, a hormone that boosts the supply of oxygen and glucose to the brain and muscles. For a less sinful, protein-rich version, try this seafood tom yam pizza
Have its juice or just eat it: Aromatherapists believe the scent of oranges provides mental clarity and reduce anxiety. That’s why citrus scents are found in so many shower gels – the smell helps to perk you up. Also, oranges are full of fibre, vitamin C and water. Dehydration can lead to crankiness, so a juicy orange can help fend that off, too.
They are your quickest route to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. US research found that when the chemical was injected into the patient’s brain, they reported intense pleasure. What’s more, they even enhance orgasms. So to maximise your pleasure, check out this recipe
for a delicious dish of scrambled eggs with tofu.