There are few things in life more smile-making than ice cream, and that’s not just because it’s typically paired with sunshine or Netflix... which let’s face it, are both pretty fabulous!
What it actually is about ice cream that make us so happy is the immediate effect it has on the happy zones of the brain, so say Neuroscientists at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. The research was carried out by Unilever, and explains why ice cream has become a universal tool for everything from overcoming heartbreak, to enjoying a sunny day.
The mechanism for this effect is in part nostalgia, since there’s scarcely a happy summer memory than doesn’t involve some form of ice cream. Then, there’s the cold aspect, which has been shown to have the same effect on our brain as listening to our favourite music, or winning money, so the research says. Lastly, of course, there’s the ingredients (namely sugar and fat) which we all know plays with the chemistry of our brains to brighten our mood... even if only temporarily. .
Luckily, though, there’s now a way of milking this feel-good factor for more than the two scoop cone is usually worth, and it’s ironically by forgoing the milk in the making. Just check out the ever expanding range of vegan - and generally healthier alternatives - available on our supermarket shelves, many of which have taken our favourite guilty pleasure, and removed the guilt.... giving yet another reason to smile through your sundae.
📸 The Rainbow Eatery