Stress responses are natural and come in different forms for everyone. For some, this response can be a resort to comfort food. In fact,research does suggest that eating comfort food may alleviate hormonal stress responses in the short term with temporary increases in dopamine, your feel good hormone. Yet, what exactly is comfort food? Some will say its chips, or ice cream, or cookies, or a combination of all three, however, research has shown that comfort food may actually just be any type of food! In a series of studies conducted by Traci Mann, a professor at the University of Minnesota, they found that when participants were in a negative mood, there were no differences in mood increases between when their “comfort food” of choice was consumed and when they ate another item they mentioned they liked. Furthermore, they found that there were no differences in mood increases between when their “comfort food” was consumed and when they ate a granola bar, a seemingly neutral snack. So, yes, chips and desserts can be tasty and help with our mood in the short term, however,  so can most foods! It may be best to think about our happiness in the long run and focus on practicing beneficial eating habits such as exchanging our comfort food to another healthier one to allow our bodies and mind to feel strong and healthy moving forward!

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