Whether you’ve been dumped or had another fight with your boss at work, nothing makes you feel better than comfort food (and maybe a little wine). For decades, scientists have been hard at work trying to find clear differences between foods that affect your brain chemistry and foods that make you feel better.

Foods that belong to the latter group are known as comfort foods. While there are foods that make us happy by affecting our physiology (for example, chocolate can produce phenylethylamine, also known as the love drug that is essential in helping you fall in love), comfort foods make us happy psychologically (and in general). a physical level as well if that girth around our waist is any indication).

It’s easy to see why comfort foods are something we can’t do without in our lives. On the one hand, they are reminders of happy times, particularly from our childhood. When we eat cupcakes, for example, we are reminded of happy family occasions in the past or the food itself is a tangible reminder of our youth, so we are reminded of what it felt like to be carefree.

Comfort foods can also be associated with a specific loved one: For example, if you had mac and cheese with your dad when you were young and considered it the best bonding time with him, chances are you’ll always crave a plate of mac and cheese. cheese whenever you feel the need to be close to someone who is far away or long gone. These various triggers make comfort foods specific to people because we all have different memories.

Among other things, comfort foods also help us bond with friends and family due to shared memories. You know what they say about how food tastes better when you love the company you share it with.

Studies done on how comfort foods also show that they affect men and women differently. Women tended to seek out sweet and sugary foods like ice cream, while men tended to opt for salty foods like steak and potatoes. The study also showed that men tend to view comfort foods as a reward, while women tend to feel guilty after indulging in their favorites.

If any of you watched Ratatouille, you’ll remember that scene where the food critic took a bite of the ratatouille he was served and immediately triggered a long-forgotten memory of how his mother served him the same dish when he was having a bad day at school. school and how he felt better after just one bite. As for women, this guilt they feel can actually be a good thing because regularly eating comfort foods in response to stress, which women are often prone to doing, can be unhealthy, so the guilt basically prevents them from binge again.

Speaking of comfort foods, what exactly are the ones that people love to drink when they’re feeling down or desperate because life might be too hard? Pizza for one is at the top of just about everyone’s list, especially one where the dough was left to rise for two days and spread with a bottle of wine before being soaked in a special homemade sauce. Next on the list is macaroni and cheese, which has become so versatile that you can get all kinds of it and still feel like you’ve been wrapped up in a warm blanket for the winter. In the candy department, there’s ice cream (particularly chocolate and vanilla sprinkled with mint chips) and chocolate cake.

And lastly, there are also the burritos and southern fried chicken and mashed potatoes. But since most people can’t get enough of pasta, you can also include spaghetti with red sauce, chicken pot pie, and puddings on this list. Basically, anything with carbs and fat is high on the list because carbs increase serotonin and fat levels, which is actually why you feel “comforted.”

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