Delicious food can dramatically affect how we feel when your brain sees images of food.
The brain remembers positive experiences of eating, including the taste of certain foods. This can cause problems because unhealthy food causes significant psycho-biological effects. When you think about a particular food, your brain can elicit physical responses like increased salivary secretion. This can lead to the desire to eat called “mouth-watering” cravings. By remembering food, your brain can cause you to experience these cravings.
Stress causes chemical releases in certain sections of the brain that cause similar cravings to sugar and fat. Consequently, many people turn to eating more while stressed as a coping mechanism. This is because these same chemicals can cause similar addictions to delicious food or junk food when stress is present.
Different foods affect the brain in different ways.
Khosla, a scientist says her team was initially confused by the food category. Because they doesn’t look the same, they thought it would need to be categorized differently. However, they discovered that different foods respond similarly to the same population. This happened despite the fact that pasta, apples, and corn all looked different. Over time, the camera’s sensor sensitivity decreases rapidly— it can happen in just minutes.
Khosla says they were puzzled by food being visually heterogeneous. Despite this, they found a single population that responded similarly to diverse foods such as pasta, apples and corn.
Seeing food in pictures can activate the same parts of our brain as eating the food ourselves.
The Guardian reported that the brains of humans contain specialized sets of neurons. One set is for words, places, bodies and faces; the other is for food pictures. Scientists at MIT discovered that these neurons are spread out among the other sets instead of being contained in one region. This is believed to be a consequence of food’s great importance to humans, which could have evolved as a survival mechanism.
Looking at delicious pictures activates the primal parts of our brains; this likely helped our species survive in an age with scarce food. Before modern times, human brains existed in a time where food was even harder to find.
Also read: 10 natural ways to improve your gut health