The one thing I like about winter
I don't like winter, it's not my favourite season, I don't like being cold constantly, and I can hear all the summer haters saying it's so much easier to warm up than cool down.
Well not for me, once cold I'm cold, it doesn't matter how many heaters I have on, or how many layers of clothes, I'm cold.
I'm a beach baby, give me the sun and sea any day of the week and I'm happy, however there is one thing I do enjoy about winter, and that is the food.
There is something comforting about the foods, soups, stews, casseroles, roasts, they're all heart foods, but why are winter foods so comforting?
According to a 2017 review we associate comfort food with good memories and strong relationships. Some science has shown that the brain releases the feel-good hormone 'dopamine' when we are eating comfort foods. This isn't to say the foods are addicting, but only that in that moment we feel good and makes us feel happier.
Take a bowl of chicken soup, if this is something your parents gave you when you were sick as a child, the memories you may have associated with this meal is the feelings of safety and love.
How does comfort food makes us feel happier?
Nutritional Psychiatry suggests that it's our stomachs that produce dopamine and serotonin, these chemicals or hormones, are also produced when we exercise and exposed to sunlight, which declines in winter.
So, in winter we turn to those delicious winter foods to help release those feel-good hormones.
Evolution also has a hand in this too.
Back before we had houses with heating, supermarkets, or even clothing, we would increase our weight over the cooler months to keep warm and survive, although we may not be living like this anymore, the food cravings are still programmed into our DNA.
This doesn't mean winter foods are unhealthy, they're not, they are just more nourishing in a heartfelt way than the foods over the other seasons.
So, enjoy those delicious winter foods.