Les hormones du bonheur - Epycure

BIEN-ETRE The hormones of happiness


2min reading time

Serotonin, endorphin, dopamine, oxytocin… These neurotransmitters cause pleasant, almost addictive sensations and emotions in us! Without them, we would not be able to experience feelings of satisfaction, well-being , security or even accomplishment!


It is a hormone that plays its role in our mood. It is what ensures our well-being as well as our ability to let go, reduce stress or get to sleep. Its neurotransmitter is tryptophan. A serotonin deficiency can therefore unfortunately lead to depression.


Endorphins (contraction of endogenous and morphine) are neuropeptides synthesized by the brain . Physical pain, from muscles for example, will therefore trigger the production of endorphin, the role of which is to reduce this pain for a short time. It's a survival reflex. Crying or laughing releases endorphins, as does intensive sport.


It's the reward hormone! Dopamine has a dual role: it causes a pleasant sensation through the release of energy, and it also allows us to store the information that will lead to this pleasant sensation again. A real therapy against anxiety and stress.


It is the hormone of connection, trust and love. At the time of delivery, the mother releases oxytocin to facilitate the expulsion of the infant and even breastfeeding. This hormone has a very important role in social relationships.

How are these hormones triggered in our body?

First of all, many activities will allow the body to find resources to produce these hormones: playing sports, walking in nature, listening to music, seeing friends, etc. All the enjoyable activities we can do in life help us synthesize these hormones and put us in a good mood.

What foods or activities should you choose to trigger them?

Leave aside foods that are too sweet or too fatty, which can only give you a feeling of satisfaction, quickly replaced by great remorse! A healthy, balanced diet will bring you more vitality, happiness and gratitude in the long term.

To produce endorphins or serotonin, choose foods rich in tryptophan such as brown rice, bananas, eggs, dark chocolate over 80%, legumes and oilseeds . To produce dopamine (providing positive feelings that play a role in behavior), you must target foods rich in tyrosine such as almonds, avocados, beets, cabbage, sesame seeds and turmeric.

Generally speaking, all foods rich in omega-3 are likely to help us trigger them: rapeseed, flax, camelina, squash, walnut or hazelnut oils or all small oily fish (sardines, herring, anchovies, mackerel).

On the other hand, oxytocin is not found in any particular food. It is the relationship, whether friendly or romantic, that will trigger the attachment hormone and produce a feeling of trust in us. We are thus made to communicate with each other and love each other. A real feeling of happiness that acts directly on the brain!

Solène Senejko

Ingénieure Alimentation & Santé