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International Day of happiness

Nutritionist's advice for dealing with the "Pandemic fatigue"

Tiredness, exhaustion and mood swings. According to the WHO, the "Pandemic fatigue" affects 60% of Europeans. A state of crisis that can also be fought at the table, with the right foods and the most suitable wellness practices. In view of the international day of happiness, established by the UN on March 20, here is the ranking of the 7 foods and practices of good humor in the advice of the psychologist-psychotherapist Paola Medde and the nutritionist and gastroenterologist Luca Piretta.

On the podium chocolate, white meats and dried fruit. Followed by legumes, cereals, ricotta and papaya and mango. "A square of chocolate is undoubtedly good for the psyche and the body", explains Prof. Piretta. "Ethanolamine and phenylethylamine in fact eliminate fatigue, are able to give euphoria and transmit a certain sense of well-being and satisfaction. White meats also contribute to increasing well-being because they are rich in tryptophan, an important amino acid for good mood. They are also light and healthy foods. nutrients, which do not weigh down or slow down digestion. Finally, dried fruit contains a large amount of magnesium, a mineral that contributes to muscle relaxation, giving a feeling of relaxation and rest".

Unaitalia, the association that represents almost all of the national poultry production, has promoted a series of combinations of white meats and foods. Medde suggests, for the elderly, a short walk outdoors and a little gardening with their own plants at home; they could help to overcome the sense of loneliness, to get distracted and to find a smile again. For this age group, choosing the right recipe to bring to the table and with the correct combinations is also essential: a dish of chicken or turkey accompanied by pineapple, for example, helps to increase well-being. "On the one hand, the vitamin C of the pineapple promotes the absorption of iron in the chicken and increases the immune system. On the other hand, the fruit is rich in bromelain, an enzyme that stimulates the digestion of proteins and releases tryptophan to give well-being", explains Piretta.

"Shibboleth is sharing. You need to rediscover the sense of being together while having fun. A cooking competition can be a simple and tasty idea to practice. Parents and children challenge each other in the kitchen, for a game that becomes both motivational and cheerful", suggests Medde. After a light meal based on white meats (perhaps a maxi mixed salad served as a single dish), you can easily transgress with a chocolate cake, perfect for stimulating euphoria, gratifying the palate and relieving the feeling of tiredness. "Sharing" is also essential for the youngest who, as Dr. Medde advises, could find good humor by engaging in small musical groups (instruments and voice) in a video call or developing their creativity in a hobby. At the table, a modern and exotic dish such as a cold chicken salad with cereals or cous cous would console them: if accompanied by large leafy vegetables, containing magnesium, this dish can contribute to relaxation and well-being of the body. "Chicken and turkey contain amino acids of noble proteins, they contain tryptophan which is then converted into serotonin", explains prof. Piretta. "Cereals, especially whole grains, also contain tryptophan and add mineral salts, magnesium and potassium".

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EFA News - European Food Agency