Comfort Food: What Is It and How It Helps Fight Anxiety

Comfort Food: What Is It and How It Helps Fight Anxiety

Opening Twix makes you feel like you’re 10 years old again, it’s July, and you have your whole life ahead of you? Congratulations, you’ve found comfort food. Let’s find out how it helps reduce stress and how not to overdo it by slipping into a binge.

When We Want Comfort Food

“Comfort food” means simple, nutritious food that wraps you up like a cozy blanket and gives you a sense of peace.

Food doesn’t have to be just fuel. It can provide the emotion of contemplating a dish, the pleasure of touching the texture of the bread crust, the delight of conversation with someone with whom you share a meal. It can also be a source of comfort.

Comfort food comes in several varieties:

  • Nostalgic foods take you back to a serene childhood. This food is closely tied to memory and cultural code. For one there is nothing more sentimental than a potato pie, another wants fried potatoes, a third dreams of a sausage with mashed potatoes or what was called pizza in the school canteen.
  • Indulgence foods include juicy burgers, chips and sweet buns-in short, everything we only allow ourselves sometimes. Those who adhere to strict diets occasionally use such dishes for psychological relaxation and to speed up the metabolism.
  • Convenience foods mean conditional dumplings, which are easy to prepare by simply throwing them in boiling water. No stress: neither physical nor psychological. You love eating it while watching movies, betting at a betting company, or just resting alone.
  • Physical comfort foods are foods that are easy to digest. Like chicken soup after a wild party or a long winter walk.

The point of all kinds is the same: comfort food quenches longing, not hunger. There is a physiological and psychological explanation for this.

The taste, smell, and sight of food affect the receptors that are responsible for pleasure. If food doesn’t appeal to us, either in appearance or odor, we won’t try it, assuming it tastes disgusting or is harmful to our health. Receptors in our brains also form an associative series. A certain smell or taste triggers us to remember and evoke different emotions and feelings. For example, the smell of bread or the smell of homemade pancakes can remind us of home, of loved ones. Lasagna, pasta, a trip to Italy.

Why do you want to eat during stress? It’s a kind of defensive reaction and an attempt to relieve stress.

The body tries to produce more serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. They “calm us down” because they are responsible for feeling satisfied. And for this the body needs micronutrients and glucose, from which energy is extracted. This is why people want to “fight” anxiety with food, and predominantly they choose sweets and fatty foods, which are the easiest source of carbs.

Taking Comfort Food Under Control

With the sense of security that comfort foods provide, comes extra pounds. In times of lingering stress, you can get too carried away with nostalgia and damage both your figure and your health. That is why it is important to build a healthy relationship with comfort foods.

The habit of eating fast food for stress doesn’t solve our problems. We just eat it. It’s a distracting strategy, just like drinking alcohol, taking drugs, watching television all the time, where one creates a buffer between oneself and whatever hard feelings one is experiencing. Fight the causes of stress, and increase the amount of pleasure hormones by other methods. Include oily fish, fruits and vegetables, bananas, and garlic in your diet. All these foods stimulate the natural production of serotonin, but they have almost no negative effect on the body.

It’s important to understand that comfort food is not synonymous with unhealthy food. If you approach the process creatively and thoroughly, you can make nutrition a powerful tool in the fight against stress.

English chef and TV host Hugh Christopher Edmund Fernley-Whittingstall advises matching comfort food to current tasks. If you need to run a marathon or endure a busy day at the office, recharge yourself with a fruit smoothie and a breakfast rich in complex carbohydrates. And if you’re suffering from insomnia or frustrated by nasty weather outside, pot roasted potatoes are just what the doctor ordered.

American TV host Martha Stewart recommends turning the whole process of cooking into a pleasant routine. Starting with the selection of products and ending with beautiful utensils. Even the simplest dishes can consist of unusual ingredients, and coziness begins with the aroma from the oven. Cooking can become a family tradition and involve the household in the process.

And finally, it’s worth accepting the idea that sometimes not the healthiest food will appear in your diet. Blame yourself for every “illegal” meal – means to create an excuse for even more stress. You can sometimes allow yourself a coffee “three in one”, it’s just better not to abuse it. And, as the hero of the TV series “Friends” said, “If you do something bad, do it well.” If you sit down to eat instant noodles, don’t scold yourself, and just enjoy from the heart.

The main secret is to take your time. It’s worth spending a little time choosing what you would like to eat for dinner tonight. Pause and breathe in the aroma of the foods. Slow down and taste it. And then you’ll be able to enjoy a small amount of food, feeling every bite.


About the author

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *