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Why we crave comfort food in Winter

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Why we crave comfort food in Winter

Craving comfort food? Check out our Winter Warmers eBook!

Ever wondered why as soon as the cold change comes through you start craving warm hearty meals, hot soups and carby goodness? Well, there’s actually a bit of science behind it!

One of the reasons is that when we eat, it triggers feelings of happiness. This is due to the production of serotonin and dopamine, chemical messengers that communicate between the gut and the brain and trigger the happy feeling. Serotonin and dopamine are also produced when we do other things such as exercising or spending time in the sun. Because we generally do these activities less in the winter time, we often seek this rush through food instead.

Reaching for comfort foods can also be driven by our emotions. Many of us experience lower moods during winter compared with other seasons, and eating is a common coping strategy as a way to boost your mood.

We may also reach for particular foods in winter that remind us of our childhood and the foods our parents and grandparents would serve. This is a way of modelling the behaviours we observed growing up, and doing this as an adult can surface positive memories and emotions.

Comfort foods are also often home cooked - and as we’ve touched on previously, cooking really can improve your mood! Research shows that cooking and sharing meals with others makes us happy, and by cooking meals at home we tend to make healthier choices than when we eat out.

Winter is the perfect time to whip out all of the classic comfort foods, home cooking, warm soups and nostalgic recipes that remind us of cooking with Nanna.

Considering the last two winters have been spent in and out of lockdown, many of us are craving comfort foods and spending more time in the kitchen while we learn to manage our ‘new normal’.

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz