The term “comfort food” appears for the first time in 1966 and until then it was used to indicate consuming energy-rich, high-calorie, high-fat, salt, or sugar-rich foods, like chocolate, ice-cream and chips which give satisfaction or a temporary sense of elevation, joy and relaxation. People consume comfort food to have occasional pleasure to compensate negative emotions and everyday problems. According to some researchers, comfort food can be divided into four categories : “nostalgic foods”, “indulgence foods “, convenience foods  and “physical wellness foods” and that there is a strict relation between our brain and our use of comfort food. Meanwhile, the consumption of comfort food is often seen as a response to emotional stress and, consequently, as a major cause of obesity in the world. Clearly everyone has their own research reasons and their own comfort food and obviously they shouldn’t be abused. But how a food make people happy? According to Proust, food bring us to pleasant childhood memories, or to happy moments of our life. The need of comfort food can originate from a strong stress, nostalgia or a momentary emotional upset. We eat not only to satisfy the appetite but also the emotions. The cravings for food, or rather for comfort food, almost always end up being more psychological than physiological. Food can temporarily compensate or anesthetize emotional discomfort, it can reassure, satisfy or gratify, it can calm tensions or fill inner voids. Science has been investigating the relationship between food and emotions for years and has shown that certain nutritional imbalances can negatively affect mood, causing sadness and depression. There are foods that naturally promote the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, such as nuts and dark chocolate, which naturally contribute to reducing stress and improving mood; but in the case of comfort food, the emotional value of the dish is added to the ability to influence mood thanks to the release of natural substances, linked to significant experiences of a period of one’s life or an event in particolar. Comfort food is above all rich and healthy food, prepared according to specific recipes often linked to personal family history.

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