We have all known for years that ice cream makes us happy. It’s natural. It feels as if it is part of our human biology. When you take a scoop of your favorite ice cream you tend to feel better. Why do you think you reach for the sweet stuff when someone breaks your heart? Is it because it is human nature or a habit? The scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry in London have a scientifically proven answer for you.
According to one study “eating ice cream activates the part of the brain called the Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)”. The Orbitofrontal cortex is the part of the brain where we feel an emotion or make a decision. So when you take a big ol’ scoop of your favorite frozen treat your OFC releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better and cause a positive mood swing.
Naturally, when we are down, we want to feel better. When we consume ice cream a chemical release triggers our brain to feel make us feel better and then a habit is created when we remember what we were eating, ice cream.
Another reason why you reach for ice cream when you are feeling down is that ice cream contains nutrients which have an effect on our mood. Ice cream contains protein, in our case, it contains a LOT of protein. Protein is made up of essential amino acids. The amino acids you ingest when you eat ice cream can positively affect your mood and limit mood swings. According to an article written by Livestrong, “Ice creams that are rich in protein increase the odds of boosting tyrosine levels in your brain”.
Now you know why you reach for ice cream when you're feeling down. It’s important to know what your body is doing during these moments. Your best bet is to avoid ice cream during these times but if it absolutely necessary and you have a craving, reach for an ice cream high in protein, low in sugar, and make sure it tastes great!
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