Research recently conducted by HelloFresh has revealed that the nation’s cooking skills leave a lot to be desired for. In fact, a quarter of Brits can’t even boil an egg. Political frictions teamed with widespread money problems makes it no surprise that people are steering clear of the kitchen.
Nonetheless, maybe it’s time to reshape the way we interpret cooking. In fact, instead of seeing cooking as a chore, we should be recognising the health benefits of preparing a meal from scratch. This is something a 2016 study noticed, when their results showed that creative activities like cooking each day can improve your daily happiness.
What’s more, according to a report from the Mental Health Foundation, recent years have seen a huge increase in mind-body approaches to mental health. In fact, the report referred to plenty of data that’s implicated nutrition as a preventer of diagnosed mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, Schizophrenia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and even dementia.
The nutritional value of eating well is undeniable, but the actual practice of cooking – from exploring your creativity to the rewarding feeling of preparing something from scratch – has innumerable benefits to your mental wellbeing. The kitchen is a prime spot for exercising mindfulness. In fact, it’s a chance to channel your focus into a methodical activity, whilst escaping worries about future problems or ruminating over the past.
So impactful has cooking been to people’s mental wellbeing, that some professionals have turned ‘culinary therapy’ into a speciality. Culinary Artistic Therapy (CAT) combines emotional wellbeing with a very practical need. Culinary therapist Juliana Ohana recently explained that ‘a huge piece of coping and managing anxiety and depression is living in the moment and being aware of that. Life and cooking is a balancing act of thinking a few steps ahead, but also focusing on what is in front of you in the exact moment.’
If you’re feeling a little rundown or overwhelmed, schedule some cooking into your self-care routine, and why not refer to our recipes page for inspiration?