by Solinna Chong, Associate Editor
After a hard day at work or a rough breakup, people always recommend Rocky Road ice cream to help chase the blues away. Why does ice cream seem to be the comfort food that many people resort to?
The truth lies further than its flavor but also includes its cold temperature and smooth texture.
Scientist have found through a brain scan that with every spoonful of ice cream someone eats, the cold temperature lights up the same pleasure center in the frontal cortex of the brain as winning the lottery or listening to favorite song would.
Also, the amount of sugar and fat in ice cream helps give the body quick bursts of energy, which why some children become hyper. Ice cream increases the blood flow in the brain and activates neurotransmitters called endorphins, or the “happy hormone,” which decreases a person’s thought of disappointment and loneliness.
Eating food, like ice cream, when upset is called emotional eating or when people use food as a way to deal with feelings instead of to satisfy hunger according to Teens Health. Emotional eating is actually a learned condition called classical conditioning, which starts from childhood: rewards of candy and other sweets after a huge achievement. Instead of associating the pleasurable feeling with the achievement, children begin to associate it with the sweets, which causes them to want to eat sweets when upset.
Ice cream may forever remain the ideal comfort food for those “bad days” for all age groups. Some of the popular flavors include vanilla and chocolate, which includes Rocky Road; but my personal favorite is cookie dough when I am having a bad day.