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Top 5 Takeout Food Orders That Increase Happiness, Says New Research

A new study reveals that some types of cuisine can have a significant impact on your mood.

When you order takeout, either directly through the restaurant or through a third-party delivery platform like Grubhub, getting food delivered straight to your door is both convenient and kind of exciting, right? Who wouldn't be stoked to receive their favorite meal from their go-to restaurant?

It just so happens that some takeout orders may make you happier than others, at least, that's what an experiment conducted by the German food delivery app Lieferando suggests. The team at Lieferando studied 2,158 people throughout 2020 and analyzed their emotional reactions to 11 different types of cuisine ordered for takeout.

Using what's called the Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS), researchers recorded each participant's mood prior to eating their takeout meal as well as within five minutes of finishing their meal. To measure this, participants were asked to rank the intensity of their positive emotions for a total possible high score of 400.

Prior to indulging in the meal, the average BMIS score among participants was 142, which was used as a baseline throughout the study to see exactly how much the food recipients' happiness increased after eating each type of cuisine.

Below, you'll see the top five takeout food orders that made the most significant impact on people's moods.


chinese food

According to Lieferando, ordering Chinese cuisine boosted happiness levels by as much as 58%. From wontons to Peking duck, there's a wide variety of foods you can pick and choose from at an authentic Chinese restaurant. It's no wonder this type of takeout order made the top five!


thai food

After participants ate Thai cuisine, the average BMIS score recorded was 233, meaning their happiness increased by an average of 64%! Pad See Ew, Pad Thai, and Tom Yum Goong are just a few delicious options you might see on the menu of a traditional Thai restaurant.



Burgers aren't just popular in the U.S. The German food delivery app reported that burgers increased participants' happiness by an average of 70%!

Don't miss The 4 Worst New Burgers on Fast-Food Menus, According to RDs!


assorted sushi

Not everyone likes sushi, but those who can get down with raw fish really enjoy this staple of Japanese cuisine. In fact, sushi orders increased happiness by 73% among those who participated in this experiment.


indian dinner

The food that made participants the happiest of them all? Indian cuisine! The average BMIS score after eating this type of takeout order was 260, meaning it increased happiness by as much as 83%. There's science to back this up—researchers at UCLA found that curcumin (the main substance in turmeric, which is what gives curry its orange color) can improve both memory and mood. But something tells us the warm, freshly-baked naan is the happiness culprit, too.

For more, be sure to check out 50 Foods That Boost Your Mood.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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