As the winter season nears you may find that the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder. Your meal plans start to include a variety of comfort foods without realizing it. This almost natural ability to crave comfort food in winter happens to all of us.
These delicious foods are often packed full of nutrients, calories, and hearty ingredients to fill our bodies while warming our soul. Today we’re going to dive into the topic of why people crave comfort food in the winter season.
Your Gut Speaks to You
During the winter season, you’ll find that physical activity declines and the sunshine disappears. While you’ll still experience some sun-filled days, overall the daylight hours are shorter during this season. This scenario leads your gut to speak to your brain, telling it to get those happy hormones from something else. This ‘something else’ tends to be comfort foods. Comfort foods give your brain the same feeling that physical activity and sunshine give it so that you can feel happier during the colder months.
During the older days of our ancestors before technology and other advancements, food was the number one way to stay warm during the winter season. Our ancestors would consume more food, such as the food we call ‘comfort food’ today, as a means to increase weight. This increased weight would help our ancestors keep warm during the winter season. This may indeed be something that’s programmed into our human mind from the olden days.
Lastly, you may be craving comfort food in the winter for psychological reasons. This is known as emotional eating. As the days get shorter, sunshine becomes less frequent and the temperatures decline, we experience a decrease in our happy hormones. This decrease can lead to the average person craving hearty meals to help create the happiness we get during the warmer sunshine seasons.
While comfort food may sound like meals that help you pack on the winter weight, comfort food can be healthy. If you’re starting to crave comfort food during the winter season, consider looking up ways to make healthy alternatives to your favorite comfort foods.
Whether you believe that human beings crave comfort foods due to evolution or programming in our brains from our ancestors, or some other reason, we’re confident that each of these ideas can hold some truth.