While welcoming winter many people find themselves craving hearty meat rich dishes. Think chicken parmigiana, barbecued snags or perfectly grilled and seasoned steaks. To understand why, you need to look at the scientific reason behind the cravings.

Our stomach is known to produce “happiness chemicals” known as dopamine and serotonin, which means when we eat, these neurochemicals trigger feelings of happiness and wellbeing.

During summer, the combination of exercise and continual sunlight help the body to produce dopamine and serotonin outside of the stomach, but when winter comes there’s a sharp decline in physical and outdoor activity. This results in a larger reliance from the body for these chemicals in the stomach.

This is the secret behind people’s gravitation towards protein rich foods such as steaks, lamb chops and pork sausages in winter. The International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Service revealed that eating protein plays a role in alleviating loneliness and boosting positive thoughts of childhood social interaction[1]. Foods like meat and potatoes release glucose straight to the brain which gives an instant feeling of happiness – especially when you’re cold, sad or tired.


So, what are the best foods to increase serotonin and dopamine in the shorter winter months? Heavy, carb filled meat dishes such as barbecued sausages, seasoned meatballs, a rack of lamb, or a slow-cooked chicken cacciatore are the comfort foods people crave. These are all full-flavoured protein rich meals that will leave you feeling satisfied. But one of the most important considerations is the ingredients you use to make them.

Lesnie’s has been providing high quality supplies with Australia’s favourite flavours since 1910. Enhance the flavours in your meat with these Lesnie’s favourites.

[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878450X16300786