Comfort food is the food that can give you a nostalgic value and is for sure a high caloric and high carbohydrate level and must have a rapid preparation time. The term has been traced back at least to 1966 and was used in a story where the explanation was that comfort food is used by adults under severe emotional stress and is definitely associated with the security of childhood, like the famous chicken soup. It is in fact a mechanism in order to cope with the existence of negative feelings.
Up to a point these kind of food can be divided into four categories: nostalgic foods, indulgence foods, convenience foods and physical comfort foods.
To identify food items as comfort food may be idiosyncratic, even though patterns are clearly viewable. While males prefer warm, hearty, meal-related comfort foods, females prefer comfort foods more like snack related because they are associated with less work. There is a certain difference in tight with age because young people prefer snack related comfort foods while those over 55 years old prefer healthy food.
It is believed that there are strong connections between consumption of comfort foods and feelings of guilt. A comfort food may remind you being spoiled and when under emotional stress everyone wants to cope shooting negative feelings.
Some say that consumption of comfort food is triggered in men by positive emotions. So men are more likely to be happy when they consume comfort food. Women on the other hand are having negative feelings and hence the consumption of comfort food.
If you have ever longed for a piece of your grandmother’s pie or had an intense need for some other food listed as comfort food, then you have had a food craving for a comfort food. There are tactics to deal with cravings and also there are a number of reasons that make you desire the comfort food. You can say that one of the reasons is too long to waiting for food. This cannot be a real reason, yet when you are hungry you might thing to food you best like instead of healthy food that you obviously do not like the same way.
I must say that there is a huge difference between liking a certain kind of food and loving it. You can eat what you like, yet you crave only for what you love. For instance you like fresh fruits but you crave for wafers. Food cravings are more psychological, then physiological, meaning you do not need them for your body you just want them for feeling better.
Some specialists say that a certain type of comfort food with carbohydrate may raise serotonin levels producing a feel-good sensation in your brain. But sometimes needing chocolate does not mean the magnesium level is low, it just means that there is something going on at an emotional place. So the most common cravings have emotional root causes.
You can tell if it is emotional or physical hunger by assessing these: if hunger comes on suddenly, craves specific comfort foods, leads to mindless eating, it is not satisfying once you are full and it is not located in the stomach. And above all you must know that emotional hunger often leads to regret, guilt or shame.
So, if craving for comfort food becomes a serious problem you should take into consideration stress, stuffing emotions, boredom, feelings of emptiness or even childhood habits.
Hippocrates said once: Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food!