Experts believe that cooking is good for mental health. It is one more reason why to cook at home more often and with more variety.
The benefits of cooking at home
Yes, the editorial board advocates that, if possible, everyone loves to cook or at least do it often and with pleasure. Because there are really many benefits to this process. And not just the proverbial savings, although let’s not lie: buy, say, a nice pork tenderloin and bake it in the oven will be cheaper than ordering dinner for a large family at a restaurant or caterer. Several times over.
It must be said that it’s not just our endless love of gastronomy that speaks for us, but also actual scientific research. One was published in 2020 in the journal Public Health Nutrition. The work is based on a survey of 8,000 American adults. Those volunteers who cooked and dined at home seven nights a week had higher scores on the healthy eating index than those who did it sporadically.
Indeed, ordering cooked food is quite difficult to control. Only self-cooked meals provide complete control over the amount of salt, spices, fat and carbohydrates, as well as allergens. In short, total benefits. However, it is also important to note that recent scientific research also suggests a positive effect of cooking on our mental health.
How cooking affects mental health
A positive link is described in a 2022 study, which can be found in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. Participants in the survey were people who know how to cook and attend courses to improve their skills. Most admitted that learning and the process of cooking itself boosts mood and confidence.
A total of 650 Australians took part in the study. They were asked to participate in a seven-day gastronomy course, covering food choices, basic techniques and how to prepare simple and healthy meals.
This is not the only scientific work on the link between self-cooking and psychological well-being. Some other studies have proved the following:
- Mental health problems are often associated with poor eating habits and low food literacy.
- That said, participants in some of the research surveys noted that confidence in the kitchen helped them to enjoy their meals more and to feel better overall.
- A sense of relaxation and confidence is not only induced by gastronomic practice alone, but also by taking part in group workshops. Cooking in company, for themselves and others, and the team spirit that prevailed helped many respondents to cheer up.