BBC 6 minute English-Food and mood

BBC 6 minute English-Food and mood

BBC 6 minute English-Food and mood


Transcript of the podcast

Note: This is not a word for word transcript

Dan: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English– the show that brings you an interesting topic, authentic listening practice and six items of incredibly useful vocabulary. I’m Dan

Neil: And I’m Neil. Now, a favourite topic today: food, and how food can influence your mood. Dan, tell me, what food makes you happy

Dan: Oh, you know, ice cream, chocolate… chocolate always puts a smile on my face

Neil: And a few inches round your waistline! Sadly, the research we’ll be looking at today doesn’t suggest you eat more chocolate… but it does talk about bacteria

Dan: Bacteria – those simple, small organisms – they make me happy

Neil: Absolutely, the so-called ‘good’ bacteria do! We’ll get to that, but first we’ll look at today’s question. How many bacteria are there in the human body

a) 39 million

b) 39 billion

c) 39 trillion

Dan: They are pretty small. I’m going to go for c) 39 trillion

Neil: Well, we’ll find out if you’re right… by counting them one by one

Dan: That’s going to take longer than six minutes

Neil: Yes it is, so let’s get moving! Scientists believe your mental state is connected to the bacteria in your gut

Dan: My gut – my stomach and the other organs my food passes through

Neil: Yes. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada and University College Cork in Ireland have found that certain bacteria help reduce anxiety in mice

Dan: Anxiety – the state of being worried or anxious. I don’t like the sound of an anxious mouse

Neil: Well I’m afraid there’s another mouse experiment coming up. Researchers at Kyushu University found germ-free mice showed more stress

Dan: Germs – a general word for bacteria and microorganisms, usually the ones which cause disease… So germs help reduce stress and anxiety in mice. Any research on humans

Neil: The BBC TV programme Trust me, I’m a Doctor has just explored this. They looked at foods which are high in ‘good’ bacteria – a claim which more and more food products are making these days

Dan: Yes, it’s a phrase that appears a lot in marketing

Neil: But many traditional foods are high in good bacteria as well. They found that homemade fermented food was best

Dan: So things like miso soup, kimchi, yoghurt, sauerkraut – all these are fermented. Have you tried all of those

Neil: I love miso soup and kimchi. And fermentation is the process where sugars in food are turned into acids and alcohol

Dan: Fermented foods are full of lots of good bacteria for your gut… Anything else from the BBC programme

Neil: Well, this is the man behind the BBC study, Dr Michael Mosley. In this clip, a radio presenter asks him about the best kind of food to make us happy

INSERT Dr Michael Mosley interviewed on BBC Radio 4

Presenter: What’s the good mood food? What shall we eat now to cheer ourselves up

Dr Michael Mosley: Mediterranean diet. Olive oil; oily fish, full of omega 3, which is really good for the brain; whole grains; lots of fruits and vegetables. Sugar: terrible for you

Presenter: Not chocolate eclairs then

Dr Michael Mosley: Sadly not. That will make you feel good for about 30 seconds until you finish it and then you feel terribly guilty

Presenter: Right, ok. Mediterranean it is

Dan: He said the best kind of food is the Mediterranean diet. Now, a diet can mean an eating plan designed to help you lose weight

Neil: But that’s not what it means here. Here it refers to the food and drink eaten by a group of people – in this case, the people living around the Mediterranean Sea

Dan: Lots of oily fish, olive oil, grains, fruits and vegetables. And of course, add in plenty of fermented food too

Neil: And don’t eat too many fatty, sugary, chocolaty things like chocolate eclairs – those are buns filled with cream and covered in chocolate. It’s really not rocket science, is it

Dan: Eating healthily is pretty straightforward, even if the science behind it is complex. When you say something is not rocket science, you mean it’s not difficult to understand

Neil: Now, are you ready for some counting

Dan: Ah yes, you wanted me to count all the bacteria in my body! I said 39 trillion

Neil: And you were right. The number goes up and down, but on average we’re thought to have around 39 trillion bacterial cells in the body, according to the Weizmann Institute in Israel. The interesting thing is they think that there are only 30 trillion human cells in the body

Dan: So there’s more bacteria than human in me

Neil: Well, maybe just you, Dan! Now, before the bacteria take over completely, let’s look over today’s words one more time

Dan: Gut was first. It means ‘the stomach and other organs which digest our food’. But here’s an extra tip – the word can also mean ‘bravery’ when used in the plural. You’ve got guts, Neil, wearing that crazy shirt in this office

Neil: Why thank you. Maybe I don’t feel any anxiety about how I look! Anxiety was our second word, and it means ‘fear or worry’. The adjective is anxious

Dan: You know what makes me anxious? Germs. I wash my hands fifty times a day. I can’t stand the idea of getting ill from all the germs around here

Neil: Yes, germs are tiny organisms, and usually refers to those which carry disease. But as we heard, certain germs are good for you

Dan: Especially those which are in fermented food. That’s food which has gone through a process where sugars turn into acids and alcohol. They often taste sour or bitter

Neil: We also talk about fermenting alcoholic drinks. Beer and wine are fermented

Dan: Does that mean I should make them a part of my diet? A diet not only means ‘a healthy eating plan’, but can also mean ‘the foods and drinks consumed by an individual or group’. Which country has the best diet, Neil

Neil: Well, in my opinion the Japanese diet. It’s my favourite anyway – very varied and plenty of fermented food

Dan: And finally we had – it’s not rocket science – it’s simple to understand. An example

Neil: Brewing beer isn’t rocket science – you just need hops, yeast and patience

Dan: And there we are – a rocket speed review of today’s words! And that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. Please join us again soon

Neil: And we are on social media too. Make sure to visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Both: Bye

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