For years, we see ice cream as the medicine for anything that hurts—from a simple toothache to a broken heart.
But did you know that apart from its ability to take away pain, it also has the power to make you happy? This is according to a recent study, which gave some concrete proof that having a cone or bowl of the frozen confection triggers a happy mood.
Some of the bodies of research are old, some new, but we’ll take it. Because if there’s even a tiny morsel of science that proves enjoying the delightful treat makes us happier, that’s enough.
Vanilla Ice Cream’s Immediate Effect
One of the studies is by a neuroscientist team that scanned the brains of participants while eating vanilla ice cream. With the help of MRI devices, the researchers found that the frozen confection has an immediate effect on the parts of the brain that activate when an individual enjoys a specific activity.
According to the team, the processing area of the brain called orbitofrontal cortex responds immediately when tasting the good stuff.
Another study backed this up; it looked into the changes in the brain when the stomach comes in contact with a fatty solution. The researchers concluded that fatty solutions, such as ice cream, reduce the brain’s responses to sadness significantly.
Amino Acid Boost
Other than the fatty solution, ice cream also contains amino acids, which significantly increases the chances of a tyrosine boost in the brain. Tyrosine is a transmitter in the brain that raises dopamine and norepinephrine levels; these hormones are responsible for giving individuals a feeling of happiness, energy, and heightened alertness.
Sure, ice cream contains bad sugar and provides unnecessary extra calories as well as fat. But when you’re having those really bad days, perhaps this frozen treat can turn your disposition around.