Ice cream's great
We've all known it for years. And now scientists have caught up and confirmed it ? ice cream really does make you happy.
Making your brain smile
Research has discovered that ice cream actually 'lights up' the brain's pleasure zones. It appears from clinical trials that just one spoonful of ice cream brings a smile to the happy areas of the brain.
The willing participants in the study were asked to eat vanilla Carte d'Or ice cream before having an MRI ? magnetic resonance imaging ? scan to see which parts of the brain are activated when people eat it. MRI scans detect regions in the brain affected by changes in the levels of blood oxygenation.
The results of the scans, done at the Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences in London, found that ice cream has an immediate effect on these pleasure zones. Previous research had found out that when people are really enjoying themselves these areas are activated.
Unilever commissioned the research, carried out by the Institute of Psychiatry. The findings place ice cream in a select group of feel-good foods which have previously been written off as foods to limit or avoid.
"We all know that eating ice cream is one of life's pleasures ? it's fun to eat and has positive memories of childhood, holidays, sunshine and good times,"says Don Darling, Unilever's ice cream vice president of development in Europe. "But this is the first time that we've been able to show that ice cream actually makes you happy."
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