When we're feeling down for whatever reason, one of the things that can help lift our spirits is a comforting meal. It's why comfort foods resonate so much with us, and why they're often the feature at restaurants and grocery stores all over the world.
Exactly which foods do we find the most comforting? While it definitely differs for each person, it turns out that there's quite a few foods we all share in common.
Meal delivery company HelloFresh did a survey on what foods affect our moods in what way. In part of that poll, they asked people to select what foods they felt would instantly improve their moods. Below are the top choices those respondents gave, giving a list that may strongly signify what comfort foods are common ground.
The top choice survey respondents gave was tacos, with a third saying it would instantly boost their mood. Considering the amount of ways you can make tacos and fill it with your favorites, it's no surprise that these are at the top of the list.
Other foods that made it onto the list were steak, bacon and eggs (32% of respondents each), fried rice, waffles/pancakes (31%), mac and cheese (27%), baked potatoes (26%), cheeseburgers (25%), French fries (23%), and fried chicken (22%).
It's not hard to see why all of these ranked so highly, as each food item is highly craved or coveted.
Scientifically, that craving could be leading to what elevates our moods. Research has shown that the more we want a food, the more dopamine our brain can produce when we actually consume it. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that influences our feelings of pleasure, reward, and motivation, so the more we can produce, the happier we could feel.
Ergo, the more coveted a food is to you, the more you'll feel better when you eat it.