Comfort food - we all crave it from time to time. Comfort food is usually high in fat, energy-dense food that can be either sweet or savory. French fries, ice cream, cake, stew, shepherd’s pie and more are great examples. Although you shouldn’t eat what would typically be termed comfort food all the time, and we wouldn’t advocate having a lot of it in your diet, enjoying it every now and then is not a bad idea. Here’s why.
Why Do We Love Comfort Food?
Comfort Food Makes You Feel Good
If you’ve had a bad day and you’re feeling down, making comfort food (or even better, having someone else make it for you) for your dinner can make you feel instantly more like your old, happy self. That’s because this kind of food, food that is high in sugar, salt, or fat (or all of the above), activates the brain’s reward system. This system can even be activated just by the anticipation of getting this food. Comfort food puts you in a good mood, and can sometimes be used as a form of self-medication. However, in most cases, if you are ill or injured it’s best to see a medical professional (if you’ve hurt your feet or back, for example, you can search for a chiropractor on echiro practor. If you have chronic, long-term depression, you should always seek medical advice). Comfort food is about making you feel more positive, and in turn, it can have health benefits.
Comfort Food Makes Us Nostalgic
Although most of the time it’s best to keep looking forward to continue on our successful life journeys, sometimes it’s nice to look back and remember the old times. Certain foods can often be associated with certain occasions and holidays, or even family members or friends we haven’t seen for a long time. When eating comfort food, those memories are called to mind, bringing with them a kind of safety and security. It can reduce stress levels and make us feel more positive in general. This is why people love to eat comfort foods if they are feeling lonely. They may still be alone once they have consumed their food, but they will have been made happier by the memories that the food brought back to them.
Comfort Food Is Associated With Special Occasions
Special occasions such as birthdays or holidays allow us to break away from the normal self-imposed rules of everyday life. We know that long-term healthy eating is the best option, and we also know how good comfort food makes us feel. On these special occasions, however, we know that we can eat this food without guilt. It means we can still be pleased that we are living a healthy lifestyle and enjoy the benefits of that, but it also means we can allow ourselves a little leeway with the excuse that it’s a one-off occasion. So comfort food is a guilty pleasure that is fun to indulge in every now and then. Since it can be associated with good times and special occasions, that makes it even more enjoyable.