When I think about comfort food, my thoughts stray to sweetness, greasy snacks or easy meals. I think of food that instantly makes you happy. At least it feels that way. It’s all too tempting when you’re horizontal on the couch watching a movie, feeling a bit sad or you’ve had a busy day and really don’t feel like going in the kitchen. Trust me, I have those days too. Even though I know that studies show that comfort food doesn’t actually improve your mood more quickly than other food, I often stick my head in the sand. It really is okay to cheer yourself up or treat yourself every now and then with a sinful snack. In that moment it doesn’t really matter to me whether or not a study found that it does or does not help. If I think it works, then for me, in that moment, it does. Ha!
Thankfully there are foods that really do improve your mood. Various hormones and substances in your body, like serotonin and caffeine are activated by certain foods. Foods that increase serotonin production in the brain improve your mood. Brown bread, potatoes, nuts and chocolate are examples of this. Folic acid also helps fight depression. Green vegetables like spinach, asparagus, parsley and kale are excellent sources of folic acid.
However, most people don’t reach for a bunch of parsley when they feel like indulging in comfort food. They reach for hardcore chocolate bars, pizza, deep fried snacks and bowls of ice cream. While I also really enjoy these things from time to time, I’m trying to snack more healthily. I want to really enjoy it, but I’d also like to feel energized by it. Sounds more boring than a bowl of ice cream, right? But don’t worry, try my comfort food and I know for sure that you’ll feel better and, in the end, healthier too! Try these delicious chocoballs or kale chips for example, you’ll love it.