It is a universal tool for mending a broken heart or enjoying a sunny day. We love to indulge ourselves in a cool creamy scoop of sweetness. Ice cream comes in thousands of flavours, shapes and sizes and is one of the top trend followers; (would anyone like an avocado ice cream in a black waffle cone?) but despite all the innovations, vanilla remains the favourite flavour of this frozen treat. Our summer memories are always connected to ice cream in one way or another. But actually why does ice cream make us so happy?
Full of happy calories Ice cream makes you more alert and researchers also found that the fat in it reduces the intensity of sad emotions by almost 50%. Eating ice cream is therefore similar to taking antidepressants. In addition, the sugar in ice cream increases your blood sugar levels and gives you a boost of energy.
It’s all cool Yes, ice cream is pretty cool (#captainobviousmoment) but did you know that that is actually one of the reasons why it makes us so happy? One study showed that eating something cold activates the same parts of our brain like listening to our favourite music or winning money. It's no wonder that we have great memories when it comes to ice cream.
Famously delicious Ice cream is marketed as a highly pleasurable food and is perceived as an indulgence. It is on top of our list on any hot summer (cheat) day and we associate ice cream with sun, family & friends, relaxing and simply enjoying life. These emotionally meaningful memories and experiences are also the reason why we view ice cream as comfort food.
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Ice cream is therefore not only fun to eat, look at and post Instagram photos of but it also plays with the chemistry of our brains to brighten our day. Combine all these things together and you really have a recipe for happiness!