It is not difficult to answer the query 'what do you like to eat the most?', as humans have an innate inclination to relish food. Indeed, for many, it is one of life's supreme delights!
Eating with pleasure not only enhances the experience at mealtimes, it also has numerous health advantages. Appreciating food stimulates digestion, reinforces a healthy attitude towards food, and can help fight disordered eating.
For years, scientists have been investigating the science of eating for delight and their discoveries are remarkable and mostly supportive. From a physiological standpoint, pleasure from food is experienced both in our mouths and minds.
The brain will generate dopamine in response to satisfaction of any type, including gustatory satisfaction, which is acknowledged as the ‘feel good hormone’ since it invigorates the reward pathways in the brain, prompting contentment, serenity, motivation, and concentration.
Some studies from as far back as 2011 suggest that people with obesity may have trouble with dopamine sensitivity, which could cause them to eat more than they should in order to feel satisfaction from food.
Brain chemistry that is working correctly can lead to physical benefits from enjoying food. Our dopamine is stimulated when we appreciate the food we are eating and this helps with digestion and metabolism. Furthermore, when we are at ease from a delightful dining experience, our nervous system goes into a rest and digest mode which helps with breaking down and absorbing the food's nutrition.
This suggests that savoring food can also lead to healthier eating.
In 2020Trusted Source, a large systematic review studied 119 studies that investigated the relationship between the pleasure of eating and a healthy diet. 57 percent of the studies indicated beneficial associations between eating delight and dietary results. One study from 2015Trusted Source, for example, associated greater enjoyment of eating with better nutritional status. Other studiesTrusted Source have underlined the importance of delighting in healthy food to promote a nutritious, balanced diet.
It's widely held that wholesome dishes lack flavour, however that's simply not the case. When we relish the food we eat, satisfaction rises, which leads to better quality diets and a lower risk of overindulging.
Mealtimes would be dull if food was only to keep us going. Eating is far more than that; it can join us to those we care about, and remind us of our cultural roots. To put it briefly, food can bring both physical and emotional sustenance.
When ill, nothing quite compares to the warm comfort of a bowl of chicken soup or the sweet satisfaction of a favorite dessert - all of which are sure to bring a smile and soothe the body. These types of food have the power to lighten our mood and heal our bodies. Even when feeling low, one can find comfort in food - although this is often referred to as emotional eating. However, if we allow ourselves to savor the meal, there can be a lot of positive effects.