Monday, 24 October 2011

Misery Index

New figures have been released that show that the nation is officially miserable. The misery index is a sum of the unemployment rate and the inflation rate. As you can imagine the total is pretty high, so we as a nation are more miserable than we have ever been since 1992.

So maybe it’s time to turn to the little things to help cheer us up, like birds singing, blue skies, smiles and laughter and fruit. Yes fruit. Believe it or not, eating fruit has been proven to make people feel happier. We’ve probably all felt that slightly uplifted feeling after munching on some of nature’s sweets. That feeling isn’t just you giving yourself a pat on the back for eating something healthy. It turns out that there is actually a bundle of science, chemicals and compounds behind the whole thing.

These yellow beauties are packed full of a mixture of chemicals that help your body to produce serotonin. That’s the stuff that makes us feel happy

We all know that they are full to the brim with vitamin C which is great for preventing those pesky winter colds that are just around the corner. What you may not have known is that vitamin C actually produces endorphins – the happy hormone that’s also released when we eat chocolate.  Other great sources of vitamin C are blackcurrants, kiwi’s and red chilli peppers.

I - like most people - get excited at the very thought of strawberries, but it turns out that there is actually some science behind it. The red colour of the fruit is cause by a couple of chemicals anthocyanin and pelargonidin which help to elevate our mood. They are also another great source of vitamin C which means more endorphins.

Another fruit that makes me happy – when you think of cherries, you think of summer time! Cherries also contain anthocyanin which leaves you feeling lifted. Remember the laxative effect though, eat too many and you really will be miserable!

Nuts are a great source of protein and many also contain selenium. This mineral has been proven to have a positive effect on our mood. Brazil nuts are the greatest natural source of selenium – so eat up.

Instead of reaching for the old comforts food favs  i.e. chocolate and carbs to help combat the inevitable misery we are all facing – maybe munching on some fruits and nuts will give you the same boost you’re looking for.

If you’re an employee and you’ve noticed that office has been looking a bit down in the dumps recently, there has never been a better time to invest in a weekly delivery of fruit for the office.

Let’s show this misery index who’s boss!

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