It's an inescapable truth that life can get us down sometimes - and when it does, nothing quite soothes our soul like a comforting meal. Whether it be your mom's spaghetti or something else, comfort foods have long been praised for their ability to bring joy and solace from within the depths of sadness. So if you're ever feeling low, check out this guide on the best comfort food options guaranteed to lift your spirits in no time!

1. Chicken soup

Chicken soup is a classic comfort food that has been enjoyed for centuries. The soup is made by simmering chicken, vegetables, and herbs in water to create a flavorful broth. Chicken soup is often eaten when people feel under the weather, as it is thought to help boost the immune system.

Why does chicken soup make you happy?

Chicken soup also contains a mood-enhancing chemical called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin. So when you eat chicken soup, your body gets a dose of both serotonin and tryptophan, which can work together to improve your mood.

Moreover, chicken soup was historically considered a remedy for the common cold, and there may be some scientific basis for this claim. Scientific studies have shown that chicken soup possesses anti-inflammatory properties, that could help relieve common cold symptoms.

But even if it doesn't help cure your cold, chicken soup is still a great way to make yourself feel better. The warm broth and flavorful vegetables can soothe your throat and comfort you when you're sick. Plus, the heat from the soup can help loosen congestion and make breathing easier. So if you're feeling down, try heating a bowl of chicken soup - it just might make you feel a little bit better.

Plant-based alternative for chicken soup:

There are many plant-based alternatives to chicken soup. Some popular recipes include vegetable soup, black bean soup, lentil soup, and split pea soup. They're also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy option for those looking for a light meal.

There are also many plant-based sources of tryptophan. Some examples include spinach, pumpkin, chia, soybeans, and sesame seeds. Tryptophan is also found in all animal proteins, but plant-based proteins tend to have a higher concentration of this essential amino acid.

2. Grilled cheese sandwich

A grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect comfort food for when you're feeling sad or stressed out. The sandwich is made by grilling two slices of bread with cheese. American cheese is the most popular type for a grilled cheese sandwich, but you can also use cheddar, Swiss, or mozzarella.

Why does grilled cheese sandwich make you happy?

There are a few reasons why grilled cheese sandwiches make people happy. For one, cheese and bread may have a high amount of fat and sodium, which can release dopamine in the brain and create feelings of pleasure.

Grilled cheese sandwiches are also usually eaten as comfort food, which can trigger happy memories and associations. Finally, making a grilled cheese sandwich is simple and relaxing, so it can provide a brief respite from stressors in life. Anecdotal evidence also points out that grilled cheese lovers are happier in life.

Plant-based alternative for grilled cheese sandwich:

There are many plant-based alternatives for a grilled cheese sandwich. Some popular options include nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, avocado, and tomato. Each option has unique flavor and texture that can enhance the grilled cheese sandwich experience. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy flavor and a slightly crunchy texture that pairs well with avocado or tomato. Vegan cheese can be used to create various flavors and textures, depending on the type of vegan cheese used. Avocado is a popular choice because it is creamy and melts well between slices of bread. Lastly, tomato adds a flavorful and juicy component to the sandwich. Experiment with different combinations to find your favorite!

3. Pizza

Pizza is another comfort food that is beloved by people all over the world. The dish consists of a flatbread crust topped with tomato sauce and cheese and then baked in an oven. There are endless possibilities for toppings, but some of the most popular include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms (fresh or powdered form), and onions. Whether you want a classic cheese pizza or something more unique like a BBQ chicken pizza, there is a pizza for everyone.

Why does pizza make you happy?

There are a few reasons why pizza can make people happy. For one, pizza is usually a comfort food, bringing back fond memories of childhood or hanging out with friends. The combination of bread, cheese, and sauce is tasty and satisfying. Finally, pizza is often considered a "cheat food" since it's not typically viewed as the healthiest option. So when people indulge in a slice of pizza, they tend to feel good about it because they're enjoying something that's not normally good for them.

Another possibility is that it's not the pizza that makes you happy. It's the cheese.

Cheese is a food that can be high in tyrosine, an amino acid that is a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is associated with pleasure and happiness. So when you eat cheese, your brain recognizes the presence of dopamine and associates it with happiness. This is why eating cheese can make you feel good.

Plant-based alternative for pizza toppings:

There are many plant-based alternatives for pizza toppings. Some popular options include using vegan cheese, using a gluten-free crust, or using vegetable toppings. You can also opt for a homemade barbecue sauce, crispy onions, and fresh cilantro.

4. Ice cream

Ice cream is a classic comfort food that can be enjoyed when feeling sad or down. The sweet treat can be enjoyed on its own or with toppings such as chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or fruit. Ice cream comes in a variety of flavors, so there's sure to be one that you'll love. Whether you want a classic flavor like chocolate or vanilla, or something more unique like salted caramel or mint chocolate chip, there is an ice cream flavor that is sure to suit your mood.

Why does ice cream make you happy?

There are a few reasons why ice cream makes people happy. For one, the sugar in ice cream triggers the release of dopamine, which is associated with pleasure. Additionally, eating ice cream can create a sense of nostalgia since it often reminds people of childhood memories. The coldness of ice cream can also help to soothe and comfort people when they're feeling stressed or sad.

Moreover, the cold temperature of ice cream can also help to activate certain nerves in the brain that produce feelings of happiness.

Plant-based alternative for ice cream:

There are several plant-based alternatives for ice cream on the market today. Some popular brands include So Delicious, Ben & Jerry's, and Breyers. These products are made with various plant-based kinds of milk, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk. They usually contain a high percentage of fruit or nuts, which gives them a creamy texture. Some popular flavors include mint chocolate chip, cookies' n' cream, and strawberry cheesecake.

5. Chocolate

Chocolate is a classic comfort food that can help to boost your mood and give you a little energy boost. Dark chocolate is the best type to eat for health benefits, but any type will do the trick when you're feeling down.

Why does chocolate make you happy?

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a natural mood enhancer. It's also a source of magnesium, which helps to regulate the nervous system and can help to improve moods. Plus, chocolate just tastes good! All those factors create a natural "high" that can make you happy.

Plant-based alternative for chocolate:

Chocolate is plant-based, but some ingredients might not be, such as milk. There are vegan chocolate options, but you can also choose less-refined versions. Some popular cacao products that you can include in your food are cocoa powder, pure dark chocolate, and cacao nibs. They are all high in antioxidants, which can help protect against harmful free radicals.

Food for Thought

Whether you're fighting a cold or the post-holiday blues, comfort food can help. So next time the weather turns gray and rainy, or you just need a little pick-me-up, don't forget these delicious treats that will chase away the sadness. Just eat them in moderation or try to pick a healthy alternative. Bookmark this page for those days when you need a little extra TLC.