This week on the Mental Health Minute, our very own Suzanne Koch discussed the importance of true comfort foods which right now, as the days get shorter and the weather changes, are even more important to a healthy and happy diet.
The term "comfort food" isn't new, but it's not exactly old either. In the mid-1960s, when the Cold War was in full swing, the Vietnam War was escalating, and civil unrest gripped the nation, Americans of all ages were feeling the stress, but none quite as much as the newly independent young adult. For this age group, the world which had never been scary before was changing. Young adults everywhere were under severe emotional stress and quite often returned home for the comfort and solace found in a homecooked meal. The meals associated with the security of childhood, like chicken noodle soup and apple pie, were then coined "comfort foods" and have served the name well ever since.
A homecooked meal made with love may be the ultimate comfort food, but healthy whole foods like apples, salmon, almonds, and high-quality dark chocolate may add an extra warm layer of comfort to your well-being. As Suzanne mentioned, apples and the some 14 or so other items on the "comfort food" list are shown to produce a calming effect that works well to reduce anxiety, improve mood, and increase energy. They may even help promote greater focus and better sleep.
So, as Suzanne said, if you haven’t been to an apple orchard in a while, now may be the perfect time to go. Not only is it prime picking season for great snacking apples like Burgundys, Paula Reds, and some early versions of Honeycrisps, but the baked goods you can create with these wonderful seeded beauties may cure whatever comfort woes ale you- whether you're homesick or heartbroken.
Check out the Mainstreet Counseling Comfort food grocery list below.
Get snacking. Get baking. Get happy.
Until next time, take care, friends.
Mainstreet Counseling Comfort Foods