Why We Crave Comfort Foods and Sweets
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
There’s a lot of science behind our longing for comfort foods.
Despite the focus on healthy lifestyles, people still crave (and enjoy!) their comfort foods. For example, a national survey of 1,000 adults found that Americans eat an average 18,928 cookies in a lifetime. While you’ve seen the popularity of “açai” and “superfood” on menus, you’ve also heard of the cake pops craze and the emergence of “midnight cookie” delivery services. No matter what food trends of the day rise in popularity, we will always have go-to foods that we turn to for comfort in times of need. But what we consider “comfort foods” actually varies depending on the person, occasion, and mood.
Men and women crave comfort foods differently
That go-to food that you crave to feed your spirits might differ between genders. Women tend to seek out sweets and snacks, while men prefer heartier dishes, like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and casseroles. In another poll of over 1,000 Americans, women reported their top three comfort foods to be ice cream, chocolate, and cookies while men chose soup, pizza/pasta, and ice cream.
The various moods of comfort food
While most assume comfort foods are sought after to help one lick their wounds, studies have found that people tend to eat comfort foods more often as a reward than when they are depressed. 86% of those in the same poll reported seeking comfort foods when they are in a happy mood, as opposed to 36% that claimed to eat comfort foods when they are depressed. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and small victories encourage the desire to treat yourself to your favorite comfort food.
The difference in mood can also affect what types of comfort foods you seek out. The comfort foods you crave in your times of celebration are likely not the same as the ones you crave in your more solemn moments.
Comfort food is good for the soul, according to science
Comfort foods are also known as soul foods for a reason. Whether it’s a warm, juicy roast paired with a helping of mashed potatoes or a tray of rich, fudge brownies, when we eat comfort foods we tend to reconnect with our meaningful association to others. For example, if Mom’s homemade chocolate chip cookies always cheered you up when you were younger, making her cookie recipe will bring back the happy memories associated with that treat and serve as a mood booster.
Research on comfort food triggers found that merely thinking about a comfort food generated relationship-related cognitions and increased one’s emotional well-being. Comfort food can have a positive effect on one’s mental health, especially in aiding feelings of loneliness.
Mood-boosting comfort foods
We crave comfort foods when we’re happy and to associate with people that make us happy, but certain comfort foods contain nutrients that can give you an added mood boost too! Here are a few satisfying comfort foods that can give you an additional pick-me-up.
· Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate that increase production of serotonin and are packed with mood-boosting vitamins and minerals
· Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which also produces serotonin and helps improve the immune system
· Ice-cream is rich in B vitamins, which play an important role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood
· Chocolate contains a number of beneficial nutrients, increases serotonin levels, and releases mood-boosting endorphins
Satisfy all comfort cravings at your next event
It’s clear that comfort foods meet a variety of needs for various moods, which is why you often see sweets and treats served or available at most events, retail shops, and businesses. To meet the needs of your guests, it’s important to always have comfort foods on hand. And if you’re in the St. Louis/Illinois metropolitan area, look no further than Bakers Pride to get the job done.
Our wholesale bakery has been providing fresh baked goods for large and small groups of all sizes for over 26 years. We have fresh bakery delivery to hotels, corporate cafeterias, gourmet coffee shops, catering companies, churches, and schools. Our products our fresh-made and delivered daily to ensure your customers and guests are always able to satisfy their cravings with delicious and tasty sweets.
View our list of productsor contact us todayto discover how we can fulfill your baked good needs.
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