- Ice cream can boost mental health and make a person smart, claims a new study.
- People who had ice cream for breakfast were better at processing new information and showed faster reaction times.
- Mental alertness also increased in participants who had cold water. However, the levels did not reach as high as those starting the day with ice cream.
Researcher Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Tokyo's Kyorin University, found that people who had ice cream immediately after waking up were smarter.
‘Early morning indulgence in ice cream can boost mental performance and alertness.’
AdvertisementThe Effect of Ice Cream on Mental Health
The study participants were divided into two groups. The participants in group one were asked to eat ice cream in the morning and participants in group two had a regular breakfast. All the participants were also asked to complete a series of mind exercises on a computer.
The brain activity of the participants was examined. The results showed that the participants who had ice cream for breakfast were better at processing new information and showed faster reaction times.
The brain activity revealed an increase in high-frequency Alpha waves, which are linked to reduced mental irritation and elevated levels of alertness. The researcher said that participants who had ice cream may have only been shocked into high alert by its freezing temperature.
The Effect of Cold Water on Mental Health
Researcher Yoshihiko Koga also wanted to test if cold water had the same effect as ice cream. The participants were given a glass of cold water as soon as they woke up. Cold water did improve mental alertness and capacity. However, the levels did not reach the highs of those starting the day with ice cream.
Professor Koga has investigated the effect of certain foods on stress relief and aging. He hopes to continue his work with ice cream and mental health, focusing on the specific ingredient which is linked to mental alertness.
Few other studies have also investigated the effect of sweet treats for breakfast and overall health. A study conducted by Tel Aviv University in 2012 found that eating chocolate cake for breakfast could help in weight loss. Participants who had chocolate cake for breakfast were satisfied with their meal and were more likely to keep the weight off.
Studies have also claimed that having desserts along with proteins and carbohydrates can curb sweet cravings later in the day. However, people who are looking to begin a breakfast diet with a dessert (ice cream or cake) should be careful.
Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian, said, "I would never, in a million years, recommend cookies or cake for breakfast." A healthy balanced diet is the most healthy way to begin the day.
Other foods that improve brainpower are
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Flax seeds
- Fatty fish
Some of the benefits of eating breakfast include
- Provides energy for the day
- Boosts metabolism
- Keeps you from overeating
- Aids in weight loss
- Lowers bad cholesterol levels