Could Cheese Help You Choose a Baby Name?

cheeseYou’re fighting with your partner about baby names. Again.

Want to lower the aggression level? Want to get back to behaving like rational adults?

Try altering your diets. Specifically, try consuming more of the following foods:

  • cheese (parmesan, cheddar)
  • fish (cod, perch, salmon)
  • meat (pork, turkey, chicken, beef, lamb)
  • seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower)
  • soybeans

Why? These foods are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that allows your body to manufacture serotonin.

A recent study has shown that “people with high levels of the brain chemical serotonin are more likely to succeed in delicate negotiations.”

Psychologists at the University of Cambridge who manipulated the diets of volunteers to alter their serotonin levels found that when the levels of the brain chemical were low the volunteers were more likely to allow emotion to rule their heads and make decisions that harmed their long-term interests.

Volunteers with high levels of serotonin, on the other hand, “behaved in a more rational, level-headed fashion.”

According to Molly Crockett of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, these results “suggest serotonin plays a critical role in social decision making by keeping aggressive social responses in check.”

And there you have it. Start eating more fish and cheese, and you may be able to keep those baby name conversations from blowing up into baby name battles. (Which are fine here at the blog, but not so great in real life.)

Source: Laurance, Jeremy. “The cheesy secret behind successful decision making.” Independent 6 June 2008.
Photo: grated parmesan by jmackinnell

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