We all relish comfort foods or meals that make us feel good, especially when we are feeling down. After all, when we feel under the weather, comfort food is what we require the most. we need to be comforted, and what better way to cheer up than to savour foods that make us happy? OnlyMyHealth editorial team spoke to Ms. Kavita Devgan, Nutrition Advisor, Tata Sampann, to know about some healthy comfort foods for sick days.
What are comfort foods?
Comfort foods are a blend of science and emotions, and that is the reason why they work. There are two kinds of comfort foods, one that makes us feel good and contains compounds that can physically affect our brain chemistry to make us feel better; and second are foods that make us feel good by working on our psychology, and usually have good memories attached to them. Comfort foods are not just emotional anchors but are also usually nutritionally sound. Tata Sampann has an array of good comfort foods that work really well when we are unwell. So go on arm yourself with a whole new repertoire of healthy comfort foods.
This is a bonafide comfort food. There is an absolute consensus on that. It is made in almost every household in some form or the other, and is considered as one of the best comfort meals. It actually tops the list of comfort foods for two reasons - one because of the happy childhood memories attached to this simple dish, and other because eating rice raises serotonin levels, the pleasure hormone that elevates the mood and has a calming, soothing effect on us. Khichdi is a perfect food to eat when unwell, as dal delivers protein and the rice (or millets) in it gives the brain a serotonin surge, which makes us serene, and sated.
2. Turmeric milk
Certain foods create actual and real “comfort” in our minds by giving us happiness. You will be surprised to know that besides saving our mind and boosting our immunity turmeric helps keep depression away too, as curcumin in it actually helps lift levels of the neuro-chemicals: norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, which make us a little happier. That is the hidden benefit of turmeric milk that not many know.
Best news about chickpeas is that they are loaded with happy mood B vitamins: vitamin B1, or thiamine, which promotes brain and nervous system health, and folate (B9) and B6, pyridoxine, which helps regulate mood by helping the body make the happiness hormones serotonin and norepinephrine. So make curries, add them to salads and soups, roast them and try hummus and falafel.