Does pasta really make you happy?

Yes! Nutritionists discovered that complex carbohydrates have a positive influence on mood, meaning pasta makes you happy in the truest sense of the word.

A substance in the brain, a so-called neuro transmitter known as serotonin, is responsible for good feelings.
It commands our nerve cells to turn our soul from dark to light again.
Carbohydrates, amongst others, are vital for for the production of serotonin.

Scientifically the following occurs: The brain usually builds serotonin independently. This requires differing substances, in particular the amino acid tryptophan. We obtain tryptophan mainly from meat, yogurt, fish and eggs.

How much tryptophan finds its way into the brain depends on what else we eat. The more complex carbohydrates we eat at the same time, the more tryptophan enters the brain.

The link is in and of itself quite simple. Other amino acids have the desire to get into the brain. Neutral long-chain amino acids use both the same carrier and transport system in the central nervous system as tryptophan. Therefore there is a certain competition. With a simultaneous intake of carbohydrates, such as pasta, the following happens: The pancreas distributes insulin to break down the carbohydrates.
Insulin also promotes the absorption of neutral amino acids into the muscles. Since the absorption of long-chain neutral amino acids by the muscles is thus amplified, there is less competion with tryptophan to pass through bloodbrain barrier. More tryptophan can then be absorbed by the brain and stimulate the production of serotonin.

Consuming plenty of carbohydrates together with foods rich in tryptophan provide therefore ideal prerequisites to shim a blue mood into a positive. An ideal combination is found in egg pasta. This means the claim “pasta makes you happy” can be scientifically proved.

Source: Deutsches Teigwaren-Institut