Why Comfort Food Makes Everyone Feel Happy

Why Comfort Food Makes Everyone Feel Happy

Think about your favorite foods – what comes to mind? Grandma’s peach cobbler? Buttery mashed potatoes smothered in gravy? A cheesy pizza with your favorite toppings? How about a Lobster tail with melted butter! Obviously, we love these comfort foods because they taste good. But did you know there are deeper psychological reasons why we crave them so much?

For example, say you’re driving along a road that offers a lot of fast food choices. When you smell that fried food, you may think back to when you were a kid, and Mom would pick up some of this fast food as a treat. Smell is a powerful thing that can be associated with memories just as much as our other senses can! But there are many other reasons, and here’s a list!

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Comfort Foods Remind Us of Childhood 0:32
It Just Makes Us Feel Better 1:03
Comfort Food Affects Your Brain Chemistry 1:40
It’s An Easy Way to Self-Medicate 2:14
Helps Us Overcome Loneliness 2:48
Special Occasions 3:30
It’s The Perfect Distraction 4:00
The Smell of Comfort Food Is Everywhere 4:30
We Associate Comfort Food with Relationships 5:13
It Just Looks Delicious or Cute 5:54
Comfort Food Is Part of Our Culture 6:45

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– That childhood food reminds us of simpler times; times that were so different from our hectic adult lives.
– Foods with this content – sugar, fat, and carbs – make our brains send us the happy signal, giving us a temporary sense of well-being, and elevating our mood.
– If you eat the carb-rich mac and cheese, you get the instant gratification of a dose of “happy” chemicals from your brainю
– We’ve all been there – stress eating. And when we’re stress eating, we probably reach for those salty potato chips or our favorite cookies.
– Eating that food associated with nostalgia causes our brains to send out some serious amounts of “happy” chemicals.
– Our senses of smell and taste are obviously pretty intertwined. Just smelling comfort food can make us crave it. That smell may also be associated with fond memories, such as your childhood home or the county fair.
– We may also associate comfort food with Mom’s cooking, times with childhood friends or current friends, or maybe even with our first date with our spouse.
– If we see something attractive, we want to be part of it, or for it to become part of us.
– Every culture has its own comfort foods. And haven’t comfort foods always been part of your life?
– We should be careful though; cravings for comfort food can lead to overeating and weight gain.
– If you’re craving a comfort food, take a step back for a second: are you actually hungry? Or do you want this food because you’re bored, down in the dumps, or stressed out? Try drinking water instead, or grabbing a healthy snack.

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