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Why Comfort Food Is Not All That Comforting

How It REALLY Affects You

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Comfort food, as it turns out, instead of comforting you may actually be linked to your mental wellbeing and causing you to become depressed. One of the main contributors to eating junk food is stress eating, but now new research has also suggested it’s negatively impacting your mental health too.

Junk food, fast food and so called “healthy snack alternatives” are all big business nowadays and provide extremely convenient options for people to get something to eat on the go. The decision when choosing a snack of going for what you want, over what you “need”, plays an important part in your overall mental health.

Researchers at Cardiff University believe that reaching for unhealthy snacks when the stress of time- sensitive commitments such as work or study, limits your choices of snacks, won’t only sabotage your fitness goals, it can negatively impact upon your mental health too. Scientists provided crisps, chocolate or a piece of fresh fruit to test subjects, before measuring their effects on mental well-being.

The results were staggering. Those that snacked on crisps and chocolate exhibited greater symptoms of depression, fatigue and emotional distress in only 10 days. The increase was an incredible 47% increase in depressive traits. The subjects that snacked on fruit experienced none of these symptoms. In fact, on the contrary, they instead became 32% less anxious.

Whilst the researchers didn’t pinpoint exactly why the fruit group felt so much happier, it may be possible that answer lies in fruit’s ability to spike the brain’s production of serotonin, which is commonly known as a feel-good neurotransmitter that can help to bring about a happier state of mind and reduce anxiety.

The best results that you can take away from the study is that when you’re hungry you should always be well prepared with healthy snacks that you can have that will not only fill you up but will also positively impact your mental health and keep you focused throughout the day.

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