Do you turn to a bowl of ice cream when you’re sad? Do you eat macaroni and cheese when you’re depressed? Does the smell of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instantly brighten your mood? If so, you aren’t alone. Studies have shown that certain foods create slight biological changes within our bodies, releasing pleasure causing chemicals in our brains. Here are the top five comfort foods eaten by people of all ages across the country:
Cakes and cookies have been popular comfort foods for decades. Whether it’s birthday cake, wedding cake or cupcakes, everyone has a favorite. Whether we realize it or not, we often associate cakes with celebrations. This unconscious thought pattern can help us feel better when we’re a bit down.
2.Peanut Butter and Jelly
Is there anyone on the planet that doesn’t love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Whether it’s chunky or creamy, jelly or jam, a PB&J sandwich can be hard to put down when you’re feeling blue. In fact, for some people, the mere act of opening a jar of peanut butter and inhaling its sweet aroma is enough to elevate their mood.
The creamy goodness of mashed potatoes can elevate the saddest of moods. Mashed potatoes slathered in butter, covered in gravy or even mixed with a favorite vegetable can release mood enhancing chemicals in the brain by the spoonful. If you love mashed potatoes, you aren’t alone; the dish is the preferred comfort food of thousands.
It should come as no surprise that T.V. dinners are considered a comfort food. You may choose a Lean Cuisine or a Hungry-Man dinner, but there’s little doubt that sitting in front of the television with a tray of steaming Salisbury steak can make you feel better in an instant. If you rely on T.V. dinners as your main source of nutrition, it’s important that you know that these foods are often laden with preservatives and other chemicals that can be as unhealthy for your mind as they are for your body.
Just about everyone loves a perfect slice of warm apple pie. Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, apple pie makes a perfect comfort food. Apple pie is warm, aromatic and sweet; everything people look for in a comfort food.
While there is nothing wrong with comfort foods themselves, there is something wrong with relying on food to entertain us when we’re bored or make us feel better when we’re down. Relying on food as a pick-me-up can have serious health consequences.
People who rely on food as a mood elevator may suffer from obesity, heart disease or a variety of other ailments. If you use food as a way to cope with life’s everyday problems, it’s important that you find a healthier way to deal what life throws at you. Almost any food is fine in moderation; it’s when you abuse these foods that eating can become an addiction and something that needs to be dealt with.
Eryn Greene is a guest writer for delivery.com, a site he recommends for finding delivery options in Washington DC.