March 20th welcomes Spring, and it is also International Day of Happiness. Did you know that some foods are linked to happiness?
The first day of Spring
This year, the spring equinox falls today! This means that if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you are officially and fully immersed in the first day of Spring. Unfortunately, this pandemic will adversely affect this 2021 spring season but – respecting the fundamental rules of social distancing to protect ourselves and others - we can still enjoy this sweet season.
A day to be happy, as proclaimed by the UN
In 2012, the United Nations established the International Day of Happiness. According to the UN, this festivity provided a way "to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world, and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness, and the well-being of all peoples." The idea came from the Kingdom of Bhutan, a small country in the Eastern Himalayas, which sets goals based off of Gross National Happiness rather than Gross National Product, recognizing
the importance of happiness over income.
The perfect time to visit Italy (once we’ve put this nightmare behind us)
La Dolce Vita calls for Spring. Spring (along with fall) is one of the best moments to fly to Italy in an ideal post-pandemic era. This season boasts fresh food at the local markets, blooming flowers in the fields, the cities' balconies and terraces, warmer temperatures, and definitely less tourists and visitors than in summer. And, of course, mountains of gelato!
Food and happiness
Did you know that some foods are linked to happiness? According to research from the University of Konstanz in Germany, consuming vegetables (yes, you read that right) rather than sugar or unhealthy foods leads to a higher level of happiness over time. In other words, fruits and vegetables have physical and mental health benefits on well-being in general. Scientists think that the "happiest" food régime is the Mediterranean-style diet. This system includes traditional healthy living habits from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, along with France, Greece, and Spain. This diet incorporates fruits and vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, some cheese, nuts, whole grains, seafood, and lean red meat. So, if you want to feel a little happier, eat Italian!
- Donatella Mulvoni