London's Gatwick Airport has teamed with a nutritionist to offer foods that are rich in mood-boosting hormones — including a salmon citrus salad that improves brain function, and a falafel salad that maintains blood sugar levels.
These “happy meals,” as they have been called, are part of an effort to reduce the stress and frustration that can affect travelers, especially those who have to endure long lines, security, or unexpected delays.
“There are certain foods that will help the ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain to keep flowing,” nutritionist Jo Travers told CNN. “Two key players are the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, along with amino acids tryptophan and theanine, which can contribute to the creation of serotonin, known to most as ‘happy hormones’.”
What’s more, “Low levels of these chemicals can cause fatigue in addition to lowering existing levels of serotonin,” according to Travers. “Similarly, a deficiency of omega-3 [fatty acids], can lead to fatigue and mood swings.
The mood-enhancing meals, which will be available at different restaurants throughout the airport, will be on trial for the next month. If Gatwick sees positive results from these menu changes, other airports will likely follow suit.