Cooking is Good For Your Mental Health
We have a special relationship with food. Whether or not you've noticed, food has been with you through life's ups and downs. Do you remember when you learned your family's secret recipe for Thanksgiving from your grandmother? How about when you regretfully indulged in your favorite ice cream after your first big break-up? Or what about the time you tossed your first salad after realizing the importance of a healthy, balanced diet?
Food definitely plays a big role in our life, as it is our source of true nourishment for our body's wellbeing. But on top of this, psychologists have found new connections between food preparation and mental wellness. In fact, a research review published in the Journal of Health Education & Behavior explains that cooking activities can positively influence your psychological state.
Over the last 150 years, psychological studies have aimed to dig deep into the inner workings of the human mind, how it affects our everyday lives, and vice versa. Maryville University's outlook for psychology graduates, reveals just a few of the many ways the discipline has expanded — from social psychology disciplines that look into interpersonal and group relationships, to clinical branches that helps us understand behavior and mental wellness in the context of individuals, families, and communities. For this article, we’ll look into the different insights that psychology researchers have uncovered about the mental health benefits of cooking.
Cooking boosts confidence
One of the findings of the Health Education & Behavior study was that cooking has the potential to improve our self-esteem. That's because cooking requires us to focus on our concentration and coordination skills as it involves carefully thought-out methods. And by participating in this activity, we are able to not only master those skills through practice, but step out of our comfort zones as well. Cooking helps us find our confidence and ultimately, can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. So why not start practicing your cooking skills with your children by trying out our delicious and guilt-free Matcha Cocoa Balls recipes.
Cooking Brings Families Closer
In her ‘Cooking with the Kids’ blog post, Judit Beres shared with us the value of meal planning as it encourages healthier eating habits and choices for our children. Aside from helping kids learn to love their vegetables, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that shared meals allow family members to develop a closer bond with each other. And it is important to note that healthy relationships have a strong positive influence on one's mental health, which is why cooking is a wonderful opportunity to both strengthen our family unit and our mental wellness.
Cooking helps the greater good
What's beautiful about the art of cooking is that we can also build a connection with those in need by providing meals to them. According to research from the University of Zurich, acts of kindness and generosity can help increase our happiness. Can you imagine the amount of joy we can share with others when we provide them with food to eat? Indeed, cooking has a much deeper purpose, as the Be the Bee Campaign here on Neomega Nutritionals shows us that home cooking gives us the chance to put our food waste into more meaningful use.