Updated on February 8, 2015
Egg for kindness
The bright yummy yellow has always been neglected due to cholesterol misconceptions by non-nutrition-trained health experts and vegans. But now, there is yet another reason to eat eggs.
That’s because starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research into how diet affects behaviour.
Researchers have long known that eggs are brimming with protein and essential amino acids and provide us with every vitamin we need, apart from vitamin C. Now, though, researchers at the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition in The Netherlands have found that a compound found in eggs acts on brain chemicals, including serotonin, to make men and women donate twice as much to charity. The research found that high levels of tryptophan, or TRP, an essential amino acid, are found in eggs, fish and milk. It plays a key role in the production of serotonin, a brain chemical which is involved in mood and social behaviour, including co-operation and friendliness. Low levels have been associated with social isolation and aggression.
So go ahead: reach for fish, eggs, soy and milk, to promote feel-good chemicals in your brain and become more.
“It may be likely that the willingness to donate money to a charity is modulated by the effect that serotonin exerts on oxytocin levels,” said the researchers writing in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. “Our results support the materialist approach that ‘you are what you eat’.”
Dr Adam Perkins, lecturer in the neurobiology of personality at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, at King’s College London, said the study could be useful in places such as prisons, “where food supplements containing TRP might help increase harmony among inmates”.
Reproduced from The Independent