A research at Southern Cross University, Australia concludes that reaching for some delightfully sumptuous food in winters, is natural and part of our evolutionary behavior.
You are probably not alone in gorging on tasty treats like hot chocolate with marshmallows or a generous helping of puddings and pastas, especially in the gloomy freezing months. The study reveals some biologically conditioned eating patterns observed through a large spectrum of people. The cravings, suggests the study comes from the same place, that triggers responses to sunlight and exercise, the feeling of unexplained happiness and wellbeing. Dopamine and serotonins produced by these productive activities can also induce the opposite reaction. The changes in winter make you reach out for these happiness buttons.
Before we were ushered into the modern era, with central heating systems, electric hearths, and layers of warm clothing, we had to make do with limited tools from our environment. Increasing body weight during winters was a deliberate attempt to keep the chills at bay. This evolutionary behavior left its stamp on us. That extensively explains why we stuff ourselves with carbohydrates and sugars, an unconscious learned reaction from our not so well-equipped ancestors.
The eating pattern we follow as adults can be traced back to food habits formed in childhood. You are more likely to crave the same soup your mother gave you as a child to keep you warm. Social Learning Theory explores this point. We imitate what we have seen. Comfort foods are also known to elevate your mood in the dreary, cold days and nights. Comfort foods deposit glucose in our brain which gives us an instantaneous feeling of happiness when we are feeling cold, sad, tired or bored.
Most often than not, comfort foods come designed as unhealthy shots to our body. The rich carbs and sugars pose serious health threats. Researchers say, that there are equal number of healthy and nutritious foods that can satiate your cravings and leave you feeling delirious too. So, this winter instead of having a generous dose of hot chocolate with large sums of cocoa you can go for the mineral and vitamin rich cacao.