Fatty Acids & The Olfactory Response
It’s not all psychological. There is an olfactory element to this science. Just smelling these foods can bring a pleasurable response – positive memories of places and events like family gatherings or parties.
Foods that are considered comforting generally tend to be high in fatty acids. Fatty acids are important to maintaining healthy cells, they have been proven to enhance mood and brain function, and have even shown minor antidepressant effects. There is an added bonus that they help you feel full in many situations. There’s a slight downside, can you see it? Obviously many comfort foods that are brimming with fatty acids will also, very likely, contain unhealthy amounts of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars. So while the benefits of a comfort food experience, when it comes to the sentimental side of things, are nice, it pays to enjoy these foods with a modicum of control.
Fatty acids are a component of healthy living, providing what cells metabolize as fuel. It is preferable to consume fatty acids that are short and medium-chain because they are metabolized in the liver and used for healthy energy production. Coconut oil is a prime example.