Remember when life’s little worries could be solved by a warm bowl of Grandma’s chicken soup or a piece of Mom’s fresh baked bread? As an adult maybe a warm cup of tea or piece of dark chocolate kept the blues at bay. Many cultures have go-to comfort foods, wholesome family favorites that are shared with love. Oddly enough there are a few scientific discoveries that indicate that certain comfort foods can affect a person’s mood in a positive way.
Dr. Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D leads a research team that studies the effects of flavors on mood. Her research has identified that certain foods like chocolate, some berries, and foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids have a similar structure to valproic acid on a molecular level. Valproic acid is used in medicines to soothe mood swings found in certain medical conditions. At a meeting of the American Chemical Society she reported that “The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food.”
Aside from a chemical reaction, a recent article from Psychology Today suggests that eating or even thinking about comfort foods make people “reconnect with meaningful associations to others.”
In the end, the consensus seems to be to eat a healthy balanced diet yet recognize that those old family favorites, eaten in moderation, could have a very positive effect on a person’s mood.
Join us at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes in March to enjoy wholesome family favorites. Our recipes are made-from-scratch and made with fresh and wholesome ingredients, the perfect partner to enjoy a healthy balanced diet.
Deborah Serani Psy.D. ,Apr 07, 2011 “Two Takes on Depression”, Psychology Today Online https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/two-takes-depression/201104/comfort-foods-improve-moods
Dr. Karina Martinez-Mayorga, Ph.D , “Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer”AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/acs-gmf072012.php