What Makes Food A Comfort Meal

When most people think of comfort foods, they might assume that you only want to eat them at night. And even if that might be true for some people, craving a certain comfort meal could happen at any time of day. You might crave khichdi for lunch because it brings back memories of your past, or a buttered toast for morning because your father used to make it for you when you were a kid. On a Friday night, some folks might be craving pizza while someone else might be craving a nice bowl of mac & cheese. Anything that makes you feel comfortable qualifies as a comfort food, thus the term goes beyond chocolate bars and salty chips. Some people also have a craving for nutrient-dense foods, such as a big salad on a hot day with a ton of fresh vegetables from the farm. Everyone has a distinct idea of what constitutes comfort food. 

The times that people yearn for comfort also vary. Some people need comfort food when they are anxious, while others could have food cravings in the winter or when they are ill. In general, comfort foods go beyond mere sustenance to provide a source of psychological and physiological care. 

What Is Comfort Food 

According to definition, comfort food is something that makes one feel emotionally at ease. These foods can occasionally be high in calories, sugar, and carbohydrates, but they can also be nutrient-dense choices. It might be childhood delicacies like your favourite holiday dish or the breakfast your father used to make for you every morning before school. 

The comfort foods you reach for usually smell well, taste good, and have a satisfying texture (whether it be smooth or crunchy). The way the food looks, smells, and feels is probably essential since comfort foods have a tendency to stimulate all of your senses. Scientific research has demonstrated that there is a considerable correlation between food and brain function, despite the fact that "comfort food" may appear to be only weakly connected to pleasure. In reality, eating comfort food causes the brain to undergo a pleasurable chemical reaction. Gratification from eating particular meals enhances the body's dopamine (a pleasure molecule), which then turns on "pleasure areas of the brain." 

The Connect 

We all require food to survive, yet food represents so much more to each of us than just calories and nutrients. Food has a tremendous psychological and social impact. Food plays a significant role in our lives because it is connected to emotions, memories, feelings, and more. Because of the associations we could have with certain foods, we can quickly get attached to them. 

In general, food is both necessary for life and fuel. Foods, however, can also provide consolation, particularly when you're shivering, ill, stressed, or just feeling sentimental. It's acceptable to eat a slice of freshly baked bread or a large bowl of chicken noodle soup during those times. However, if you discover that you need a certain comfort meal to get through a difficult situation or if these foods are negatively affecting your eating habits, you might want to speak with a medical practitioner or a mental health expert. Food restriction, binge eating, or demonising certain foods could all be symptoms of disordered eating.