If there’s one thing virtually every culture has in common, it’s a love of sweets. No matter the age, location, or demographic, sweets are one thing that brings people together. As it turns out, science has even proven that sweets can make you happier!
Although you may have heard that sweet treats should be eaten in moderation (which is true), it turns out that there are also perks to having a yummy dose of sugar for your mental wellbeing. Sweets offer a way to bond with loved ones while also releasing “feel good” hormones that can instantly boost your mood.
This guide will help you discover how sweets can help you feel happy and how to pick the best sweets to enjoy.
How do Sweets Make us Happy?
There is more than one way sweets make us feel happier. For one, it’s a psychological trigger that most of us start to develop in childhood. Imagine your favourite days of the year – Christmas, Halloween, birthday parties, vacation – what do they all have in common? Delicious sweets! From birth, most people learn to associate sweets with happy moments and memories with friends and family.
Whether it’s a slice of birthday cake or chocolate chip cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, sweets make us feel happy inside. This psychological connection imprints our brains and releases these same feelings even when it’s not a special occasion. So, if you’ve noticed that taking a bite of your favourite sweet makes you feel happier or conjures memories of good times, it’s not all in your head. It’s a real thing!
Additionally, the brain is hardwired to run on sugar. Eating sweets quickly goes from the stomach to the bloodstream and then to the brain, where it causes a surge in dopamine. Dopamine is the hormone that causes feelings of happiness, excitement, and joy. It’s one of the same hormones released after exercise or when you’re enjoying time with someone you love. It’s also one of the primary hormones connected with happiness, and a lack of dopamine is one aspect of depressive illnesses.
Chocolate, in particular, is linked to “feel good” endorphins, significantly darker chocolate.
Health Benefits of Sweets and Treats
Aside from the happiness aspect, sweets can have some surprising positive effects on your overall health. For starters, having a better state of mind reduces the risk of specific physical issues, and stress is a contributing factor in many diseases and ailments. Additionally:
Chocolate has been shown to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 39%. Another study showed that eating a chocolate bar a week can cut down on the risk of dying from stroke by almost half, at 49%. When it comes to these health benefits, due to cocoa’s natural antioxidants, the darker, the better; aim for 75% cacao or more to reap the highest benefits.
Cocoa has been shown to slow down the growth of dangerous tumours. It contains a chemical called GECGC, which has been shown to not only halt the growth of cancerous cells but has also been shown to help speed up the destruction of these cells.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, studies have shown that eating chocolate bars several times per month can help you live longer and avoid certain diseases. This is most likely due to phenol, a powerful antioxidant found in cacao, where chocolate is derived. It destroys circulating free radicals, so fewer of them damage bodily tissues. Additionally, it may help slow down the depletion of LDL or “good” cholesterol while also improving your immune function, which may help ward off viruses and other illnesses.
Making the Most of your Sweets
The key is moderation and choosing options that make you feel good when it comes to sweets. Whether that means chocolate, fruit chews, or jellies, you should find options that boost your mood and help your overall sense of wellbeing.
That said, it’s a good idea to add in some darker chocolates for the health benefits. You should also remember to combine sweets with a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Sugar is metabolised more slowly when consumed with other foods high in fibre, protein, or healthy fats.
All Your Sweet Treats in One Place
If you’re looking for high-quality sweets, look no further than us at Sweet Factory. We deliver sweet treats right to your door, and our sweets are always backed by quality.
We even offer halal, vegan, and vegetarian treats, so no matter what diet you follow, there will be the perfect sweet for you (and your body!).
Check out our whole list of sweets here — we’re sure to have something to satisfy any sweet tooth!