Have you ever wondered why there are times when you’re craving your most favorite comfort food? It could be a slice of cake, ice cream, pasta or anything else that can make you feel good when consumed. They are usually the kind of foods that are high in fats, sugar, and energy that can give you a temporary ‘feel good’ sensation.
Reasons Why Comfort Foods Are Comforting
Food is like life for most people. If you’re stressed and you need something to take your mind off your toxic day, many people prefer to eat comfort food that they love. Something that can make them feel better almost instantly. However, if you’re also wondering how these foods can comfort you, then here are the top reasons that can contribute to comfort eating.
- Improve Your Mood: If you’re eating food that is high in fat, sugar, or salt, it has the ability to activate a certain part of your brain, the reward system. Take chocolate for example; it can strongly affect your mood while reducing stress. Foods that are highly palatable can activate a certain part of your brain that’s similar to drug addiction.
- Comfort and Security:It’s not unusual for someone to associate food with their loved ones or maybe a special event like Christmas or Thanksgiving. This is why every time we feel lonely or homesick, we look for comfort food dinner recipes, and it almost feels like you’re not far from them anymore. There is evidence to prove that those who have a positive family relationship tend to reach out for their comfort foods during the days that they feel alone; it helps to give them a sense of home.
- Self-Medication: We all know that unhealthy food and negative emotions always have a connection. This usually happens during ‘emotional eating’ where people are drawn to eating unhealthy foods to make them feel better. This is their coping mechanism. Those who eat healthily tend to have a more positive mood than those who do not. This is why the link between ingesting comfort food and negative moods has increased.
- Special Occasions:If you have noticed, more people choose unhealthy food as their choice during special occasions that we celebrate like birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and so on. One might think that at that moment, indulgence is okay, but if you think about its effect, in the end, eating healthy is still the better choice. As a remedy, try to do both. You can indulge yourself with a few unhealthy foods, but make sure that you eat a healthier portion too.
Comfort foods have always been there, and if we easily give in, chances are it can negatively affect our bodies. An entire block of chocolate might sound appealing, but why don’t you settle with just a small portion of that? It’s okay to give ourselves a break from time to time, but we have to make sure that we limit the foods that can negatively affect our health.