Airports Begin To Serve Foods That Improve Travelers’ Moods and Hormone Levels

Taking a trip that involves flying – especially since 9/11 and the creation of the hapless Transportation Security Administration – is stressful, no doubt about it. Long lines, a boarding process that involves being molested by federal agents and overcrowded planes can all combine to make the experience loathsome.

With that in mind, CNN reports, some airports are taking a proactive approach to improving the flying experience, and in a rather unconventional way: through a traveler’s stomach.

London’s Gatwick Airport has turned to “happy meals,” and no, not the kind of fat-laden fare you get from that large and famous fast-food chain. Rather, the airport is trying something clever and even revolutionary: serving food that boosts flyers’ mood-enhancing hormone levels.

As CNN further reports:

Restaurants at the airport have updated their menus to include dishes designed to put travelers in a better mood. Frankie and Benny’s, for example, has added a salmon citrus salad that promises to improve brain function, while Lebanese chain Comptoir’s falafel and fattoush salad is meant to keeps blood sugar levels steady.

“There are certain foods that will help the ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain to keep flowing,” explains nutritionist Jo Travers, with whom Gatwick officials partnered to launch the concept. “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.’