Comfort Food For The Win

As we continue to wait it out and stay at home to keep both ourselves and our communities safe, many of us are also turning towards our fridge to keep ourselves busy. Not only are we turning towards food to occupy our boredom, but also to find some comfort. Comfort food means something else for everyone, whether it be some mac and cheese, shepherds pie, sweet potato fries, or even a thick and creamy fruit smoothie.  And as it stands, we’re (hopefully) eating three meals a day at home, which means that comfort food makes more sense right now than ever before. 

In fact, according to dietitians, we often turn to comfort food when things feel like they are beyond our control, in order to obtain that sense of control, or at least feel as though we have.  It’s also been found that comfort foods can even satisfy certain negative emotions, such as anxiety, depression, and sadness, which is something that many of us are unfortunately experiencing right now through these strange and uncertain times. So while we can’t control what’s going on in the world, we can certainly control what we eat, and how cheesy and crispy that mac and cheese is going to be. 

Studies have shown that we actually tend to associate comfort food with good memories, meaning that many of us are likely to think of love, health, and safety when eating chicken soup. Some research has found that comfort foods allow the brain to release dopamine – which is known to be the feel-good hormone in the brain.  And while we all need that extra pick me up right now, and that’s more than acceptable right now, it is important to still note that there are many other ways to deal with our feelings rather than through eating. In the meantime though, we’re going to be loading up here on comfort food while it’s still socially acceptable, and encouraged by science.