It’s Confirmed: Science Says Ice Cream Really Does Make Us Happy

Ice Cream SandwichIce cream has, for generations, been the prescribed medicine for anything—from a toothache to a broken heart. This frozen confection is simply the “fixer” of anything that hurts.

Did you know, however, that ice cream not only makes you feel better but also has the power to make you happy? And it’s not because having a big bowl of the frozen treat calls to mind childhood memories of happiness and carefree living. This is backed by solid research.

The Scientific Proof

According to studies, ice cream actually causes deeper physical responses and triggers a happy mood. While some of the studies are many years old, we’ll take them—because if there’s even just a tiny proof of science that proves having a scoop of dessert makes us happier, that’s enough proof for us.

One of those studies is by a team of neuroscientists, who used MRI devices to scan the brains of the participants while eating vanilla ice cream. They found an immediate effect on the parts of the brain that normally activate when a person does an enjoyable activity. Turns out, the orbitofrontal cortex or the processing area of the brain responds immediately with each spoonful of the good stuff.

This is backed by another study that looked into how the brain changes when a fat solution is introduced into the stomach. The study revealed that the brain’s responses to sadness are significantly reduced when a fatty solution, such as ice cream, is infused into the stomach.

Ice Cream Contains Amino Acids

In addition, ice cream makes you happy because it contains amino acids. These amino acids increase the odds of a tyrosine boost in your brain. Tyrosine is a neurotransmitter that raises norepinephrine and dopamine levels, which produce a feeling happiness, heightened alertness, and energy.

Of course, there’s all the sugar, calories, and fat to consider before having a cone or a cup of your favorite ice cream. But, on those really bad days, perhaps one of the best desserts on the planet can turn your mood around.