A study published in the journal of Psychological Science revealed that eating comfort foods can improve one’s mood. According to the research, consuming foods that are often associated with good and positive feelings not only enhances one’s moods but also improves one’s sense of well-being; doing so also decreases one’s level of loneliness. The research focused on the psychology of what is known as social surrogates. They noted that simply thinking or writing about comfort food can increase one’s emotional well-being.
It’s important for anyone who suffers from depression to know that there is a physiological impact on the food that you eat. The chemical structure of the food you consume affects your entire body and your cognition, mood, and your physical state. According to Dr. Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, professor of neuro psychology at the University of Southern, California, said that food works like a pharmaceutical compound which affects the human brain. When you consume a balanced meal, it’s likely for your brain to function in a more balanced manner.
For those who have mood disorders, it’s necessary for them to choose foods that have various vitamins and minerals, especially those that contain omega-3 and other healthy ingredients.
According to Shira Gabriel, an associate professor of psychology at the State University of New York, Buffalo, the best way to understand the phrase “comfort food completely” is to shift one’s focus from the food itself. Gabriel’s research came up with a definition of comfort food as something that a person makes use to feel better. In the US, however, it specifically focuses on universal things such as French fries, ice cream, mashed potatoes, and other indulgent meals or snacks. She, however, added that to equate comfort food with calories is to misunderstand the where the comfort comes from. She further said that when we think about comfort food, we think about calories, warmth, and the sense of well-being but we don’t think that it provides something social for us who consume it.
In a study published in the journal entitled Appetite, Gabriel and his colleagues from SUNY-Buffalo and the University of the South ran experiments to determine what those socials are. The results of the study based on what Gabriel and her co-authors believe point to the same idea; the power of the comfort food lies on the associations that such comfort food can bring to mind. Those who have positive family relationships would likely reach for all those that remind them of those relationships when sadness shows its ugly face. More often, such reminders are in the form of food. A grilled cheese sandwich may be gooey, greasy, and satisfying in its own, but even more when it can evoke positive childhood memories.
A similar study was done in 2011; the authors found similar effects with chicken soup which is often associated with being taken care of. If people have strong emotional relationships, the more satisfying they will find their very own soup. You can check on comfort food recipes at bakedcomfortfood.com.