You scream, I scream, we all scream, for ice cream! That beloved saying will be around forever because let’s face it, who doesn’t love the delicious treat? Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or maybe rocky road – yes, to all of them!
If you’re on a diet and counting calories, you’re probably not interested. But, what if I told you there are actually surprising health benefits to eating ice cream? Do I have your attention yet? Well, before you sit on the couch with a tub of ice cream and begin your next Netflix binge, get educated on what those health benefits actually are.
Daily Dairy Serving
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate at least one daily serving of full-fat dairy products, like ice cream, actually gained less weight than those who did not include the serving in their daily diet. What does that all mean? A half cup serving of vanilla or chocolate ice cream is approximately 140 calories – 7g fat and 14g sugar. If you want to make it healthier, check out the slow-churned options because they are even better for you.
As long as you’re being mindful of portions and checking out the specifics, having a scoop or two of ice cream is a great option.
You may not have known it, but your body burns more calories when you consume something cold. Now remember, you can’t eat an entire tub of ice cream and expect to shed 10 pounds, but you can definitely encourage your body to shed a few more pounds with the cold treat. Sometimes, it’s super encouraging to be knowledgeable on the “rewards” that you can eat when you’re adhering to a diet and trying to lose weight. Perhaps knowing that ice cream can be an option will give you the extra perk you need to reach your weight loss goal.
The Human Reproduction, a Harvard published journal, suggested that consuming whole milk or ice cream could potentially improve the chances of a woman having a baby. The study observed 18,000 women between the ages of 24 and 42. Researchers tracked each woman’s eating habits and the women who ate full-fat ice cream, two or more times a week, were said to have a 38 percent lower risk of ovulation related infertility than the women who ate full-fate ice cream less than once a week.
There have even been reports that pregnant women, experiencing nausea in early stages of pregnancy, have combated nausea by eating a scoop or two of ice cream. The calcium, from ice cream, can actually help the bone growth of the fetus as well.
While ice cream is definitely not showcased on the nutritional food pyramid, there are key nutrients in the ice cream that help your body. You probably already know that ice cream contains bone strengthening calcium and phosphorus, potassium that lowers your blood pressure and B vitamins that provide energy are all found in ice cream. B vitamins are important because they are your body’s resource for tissue repair and cell growth.
Ice cream also contains Vitamin K which is a vital element of the blood clotting pathway. If you do even more research, you’ll find a ton of other vitamins in ice cream.
Do you ever use ice cream as a treat to reward your kids or maybe even yourself after a rough day or week? Since the treat is rich in carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, ice cream serves well as a pick-me-up. No matter if you’re feeling tired or just having a rough patch, turn to ice cream for an energy transformation. And if it boosts your energy, it must perk up your mood.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are 137 kilocalories of energy in one half cup of vanilla ice cream, which is about twice the number in one half cup of milk.
Not only does ice cream give you energy, but it also enhances your immunity. Ice cream contains lactoferrin and cytokines – both of those items combat the influenza virus and help people get over the flu.
You may have heard, from various old wives tales, that you’re supposed to stay away from dairy if you’re sick; however, these two elements found in ice cream are definitely reasons why you can enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream when you’re fighting a virus.
Increased Sex Drive
A study of Chicago Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation found that when men smell the scent of vanilla, that their sense of passion was increased. The study also found that because ice cream has high levels of calcium and phosphorus that it helps to build your muscle energy reserves and boost your libido.
Think about it, have you ever seen someone looking upset or angry as they’re eating an ice cream cone? No way – there’s even science to prove that ice cream puts you in a good mood. Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry in London tracked the brain activity of people eating vanilla ice cream. As soon as the subjects swallowed their ice cream, researchers identified an instantaneous effect on their brain – specifically the orbitofrontal cortex. This part of your brain is often referred to as the pleasure center because this area is activated when people are happy.
It’s important to do your research and understand the true nutritional facts of everything that you put into your body. Oftentimes, as a society, we become bogged down by the click bait articles and other assumptions – just because something tastes delicious and is deemed as a treat, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good for you.
Keep in mind that we’re not suggesting that you can or should eat ice cream all day or in large serving sizes, we’re just stating the facts that are backed by research, and finding ways you can enjoy delicious desserts like ice cream.