Got a craving for some sweet desserts? Read on as we find out whether or not ice cream is just empty calories.
If you ask anyone what they think of ice cream, many of you might think that ice cream is just a guilty pleasure that you eat whenever you feel down or when you deserve a treat. It’s always reserved as a “cheat” meal, or a rewarding dessert after dinner. All in all, “nutritious” or “beneficial” will seldom cross anyone’s mind.
But that’s all about to change. When eaten right, ice cream actually has many benefits for your health. From its nutritional content to its psychological effects; it’s all explainable. It’s not just because it’s an indulgent, but it has a scientific reason behind it. Let’s cut to the chase and
Are there Health Benefits of Eating Ice Cream?
Ice cream could help you lose weight
This might come as a shock to you, but ice cream could actually help you lose weight. But be mindful that we’re talking about eating a certain amount of ice cream only. The magic word here is calcium, which ice cream apparently has a lot of – after all ice cream is a dairy product.
A research was conducted to find out the effect of calcium on women’s weight management. It was found that women who consume more calcium (more dairy) has less body fat percentage at the end of the experiment; and it was concluded that calcium is important in managing body weight.
This could be due to the fact that calcium keeps your fat cells controlled; and deficiency in calcium could actually lead to enlargement of your fat cells – leading to higher body fat percentages and weight gain.
It’s not just that; if you think drinking warm glass of milk will do the same, think again. It turns out that cold food could help you use up more calories than warm food – this is because the body needs to heat up the food as it goes inside our body. Ice cream has this effect, thus it could potentially burn more calories.
Ice cream could increase fertility
Are you trying to have a baby? Here’s another reason why you really should go for that ice cream cone: it increases your fertility level. According to researchers, eating ice cream could increase the chances of women getting pregnant, and again, it’s because ice cream is a dairy product.
It was found that when comparing women who consume low fat dairy products and those who consume full fat products such as ice cream and full fat milk, the ones who consume low fat dairy products on a regular basis have lower possibility of getting pregnant.
On the other hand, those who consume full fat dairy can get pregnant more easily. Doctors even suggested that you should switch to full fat dairy first if you’re trying to get pregnant. So go with your instinct, women; and grab that tub of vanilla ice cream! And don’t skip on any of the fat either!
Ice cream stimulates your brain
Do you have a client presentation or a morning exam? Then you have our permission to eat ice cream for breakfast. A research by a Japanese scientist have found that eating a scoop of ice cream in the morning for breakfast could actually boost your brain activity.
During the research, two groups were tested using computer based mental exercises. One group was told to eat normal breakfast, while the other was fed ice cream for breakfast before the test. It was found that the group who had ice cream tested better, with more concentration and faster reactions.
With this in mind, we can say that eating ice cream is no longer reserved as a bonus meal during dinner, but it’s the breakfast of geniuses.
Ice cream improves your mood
Just like in movies, one of your go-to moves when you’re feeling rather blue is to open that freezer and grab a scoop of ice cream. Your reflexes might be on to something, because ice cream does actually improve your mood.
An experiment was conducted by a group of researchers to find out the effect of ice cream on mood. They found that the brain’s responses to sadness were significantly reduced when fatty solution was infused into the stomach. Respondents also reported less hunger and a better mood when the fatty solution was given.
It was even said that the effect was very pronounced, because the fatty solution reduced the intensity of sad emotions by almost half–which is about as much as any prescription antidepressant can achieve! This was quiet a breakthrough as it could lead to pharmacological importance; because in a sense, ice cream could very well be an alternative answer to depression.
Looking at all those benefits, nutritionally and psychologically speaking, we hope we’ve changed your mind about ice cream. Because eaten in the right amount at the right time (ie. in the morning) ice cream is so much more than just a bonus meal you can have for dessert, or a guilty pleasure. In fact, throw that guilty feeling away, because you should feel great after you eat them as science told you so.
We’re not telling you to eat a tub of ice cream everyday, as we all know that it’s all about balance. Ice cream is still a high calorie meal, and you should always be mindful of that as overeating could lead to unnecessary weight gain. A good measure is about a scoop a day (you can get an ice cream scoop to help you with portion control!).
Also, always opt for a more natural ice cream that has less additives; or better yet, make your own! Remember to take everything in moderation, and that a little often goes a long way. So, go ahead and grab that ice cream cone, especially if it’s for breakfast!