I’m a huge fan of Italian foods, though some of them can be a little heavy and dense. Others, however, are fantastic for you, especially your mood and your love life! They say Italians know how to show their love through cooking, and whoever "they" are, they weren't kidding! Certain properties and nutrients in Italian foods contribute to a rise in serotonin in the brain, and can also help promote the chemical oxytocin in the body. This same chemical is produced in our bodies when we fall in love as well. Try incorporating more of these Italian foods into your meals, and enhance your mood and/or your love life at the same time!
Did you know that basil is one of the best herbs and Italian foods for your mood? I adore basil in soups, and even green smoothies, believe it or not. Basil is full of antiviral properties and anti-inflammatory agents, but it’s also known to produce a sense of calm, happiness and a feeling of love in the body. Basil is used in many Italian seasoning blends and can be found in almost all Italian meals.
My favorite herb in the world of savory spices is most definitely oregano, and it’s known as the king of herbs and spices. Oregano is known to be a natural remedy for depression and can also help cure the body of pain. It also sends huge signals to the brain that relax the mind and help reduce and eliminate anxiety. It can also stimulate digestion and even a poor appetite. Oregano is one of the top flavors you’ll taste in Italian foods, and it contains more antioxidants per tablespoon than blueberries or even kale!
Mushrooms are commonly used in pasta sauces and Italian dishes and they’re fantastic for the mind and body. They help repair the immune system, ward off illness and can increase serotonin in the body by boosting brain health. This improves your mood in multiple ways, and can help create a healthier libido. Another top benefit of mushrooms is their Vitamin D content. Vitamin D is important for brain health since it reduces depression and can reduce cancer risks. Include mushrooms in your salads, sauces, omelets and more!
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the number one fat used in Italian foods and with good reason. It creates a healthy mind and body in very small amounts. It helps protect the heart, helps reduce pain and inflammation and it boosts brain health through its healthy fat content. It’s also a wonderful source of Vitamin E, which acts as a powerful antioxidant to the body, and it can help prevent joint pain. Since it keeps your mind and body in tip-top shape, this means your hormones will work just how they should and your mood will improve as well.
Tomatoes are actually a natural aphrodisiac if you didn’t know. They’re amazing for your hormones, especially testosterone, which women need to have in their bodies to have a healthy sexual appetite. Tomatoes also help to protect men from prostate cancer, so be sure to give them to your guy too! I personally love tomatoes on a salad with a teeny drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil and oregano. So simple and so delicious! You’d think I was Italian by my foods, but I’m not! I just love Italian foods like tomatoes. You can use them in soups, sauces and stews as a wonderful satisfying meal as well.
Fish is one of the top animal proteins eaten in Italy and in the Mediterranean diet. It’s rich in properties that boost hormone health, and it’s fantastic for your brain, as most of you know. Fish is also an incredible source of magnesium and B vitamins that you need for a healthy mood, along with its famous omega 3 fats. Selenium, an important mineral found in fish, is needed for thyroid health, which helps produce healthy hormones in your body. For all these reasons and more, fish is great for your love life, plus it’s easy to digest so it won’t leave you feeling heavy after a meal.
7. Dark Leafy Greens
If you'll notice, anytime you visit an Italian restaurant, a salad is always served. Italian foods are almost always complemented with a salad full of leafy greens, or leafy greens might be cooked into a dish instead. Leafy greens like romaine, parsley, spinach, kale, chard and escarole are often mixed together in a salad with most Italian meals. They're usually dressed with olive oil, of course, perhaps some Parmesan cheese and many times, red pepper flakes. Whether you eat your leafy greens this way or another way, we all know how healthy they are for you! They also complement most heavier Italian meals quite nicely and are a fantastic way to boost your mood due to their vitamin and mineral content.
Italian foods, along with red wine, and most all Mediterranean foods are excellent for you and your mood. And we all know, a happy mood leads to a happier love life! You should try to avoid the heavy pastas, fried calamari and meat dishes, though, so you can look and feel your best, but feel free to enjoy a little whole grain pasta with your tomato sauce if you like! Do you enjoy Italian foods?