5 reasons why cooking is good for mental health

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If you often order food from a nearby restaurant then it’s time to stop doing that. Cooking at home has many benefits like you end up eating healthier, you don’t waste much food and you save money. Turns out that cooking is good for mental health too. Some lean on music or driving or swimming to bust stress. You can add cooking to the list as well. Yes, simple things like slicing or chopping vegetables, boiling water, and putting different ingredients together to make a dish are great for your mental health. So, head to the kitchen, put on your apron, and start cooking!

Cooking methods are many, but not all are healthy. For instance, steaming is healthier than frying. You can pick any of the cooking methods, but just get behind the gas burner and brush up your culinary skills.

Health Shots connected with Dr. Anuneet Sabharwal, psychiatrist,
founder and director of The Happy Tree (de-addiction and mental health hospital), to find out how cooking helps to promote mental health.

Cooking gives a boost to your mental health. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Mental health benefits of cooking

1. Cooking helps with social relationships

One of the greatest risks to physical and mental health is loneliness. Cooking is beneficial because it generally brings people together. Eating with family and friends can offer all participants with a sense of security and companionship. Participating in the cooking process with your loved ones may give extra benefits, such as improved communication and quality time spent together, says Dr. Sabharwal. All of these elements contribute to the improvement of your mental health as a whole.

Also Read: 5 shocking facts science says about loneliness and its side effects on health

2. Cooking gives your a sense of achievement

You must have noticed that professionals in the field of mental health typically recommend establishing manageable goals with desirable rewards. Making a meal is a wonderful short-term objective, regardless of whether you are experiencing mental health issues or not. Observing your ingredients change into something nourishing and delicious is simply satisfying. The sense of accomplishment that cooking can bring is a major confidence builder.

3. Cooking is a stress buster

Some people may perceive cooking as a burden. However, many consider cooking as a joyful hobby. The physical act of cooking, such as chopping and stirring demand focus. This allows you to focus entirely on the work at hand, which may be especially advantageous if you are stressed (foods to combat stress). This is one of cooking’s most immediate benefits. It necessitates slowing down and diverting attention away from the stresses of daily life.

Cooking can be a great stress buster. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

4. Cooking helps to develop a healthier relationship with food

Cooking at home can have a favourable effect on your relationship with food. Taking charge and teaching yourself how to cook will not only boost your confidence, but also alleviate the anxiety that you experience when you’re unsure of what to make for dinner.

5. Cooking helps to get organised

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, cooking most of your meals at home throughout the week can improve your organisation and awareness. When you’re planning meals, take a look at what you already have in your pantry. Then, determine what you can create from it. Knowing what you want in advance might help you manage your shopping budget better and eat healthier if one of your goals is to do so.

Tips to start cooking

Everyone doesn’t know how to prepare a dish. But if the benefits of cooking are encouraging you to try your hand at it, then you should know some of the basics.

• Organise yourself, go grocery shopping or have groceries delivered, and then sit down and plan the meals you wish to prepare for the week.
• Use recipe books, recipe compilations, a meal planning application, or ask your friends for their favourite dishes you can also try.
• Create a category-organised grocery list. Choose recipes that call for the same ingredient to reduce food waste and the length of your shopping list.
• Purchase the appropriate equipment. Having the appropriate kitchen appliances, gadgets, and utensils makes meal preparation and cooking far more efficient and pleasurable.
• Consider one-dish and sheet pan recipes and use an instant pot to prepare a variety of foods that can be included in meals throughout the week in order to save time.
• Purchase pre-mixed spice blends and sauces.

The expert suggests to prepare meals with friends or family. Having the companionship of friends and family speeds up the cooking process like nothing else.

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