COOKING AND ITS MYRIAD BENEFITS
Every known civilization has evolved uniquely through different cultural and geographical backgrounds. But what stayed common among all communities is their interest in cooking food from raw ingredients. The method and type of cooking may vary from place to place. But the idea remains the same all across our society. The taste and the texture are widely different but the zeal for cooking is identical.
Besides, as human beings, somewhere deep inside we love to cook. We love the concept of creating. And the process of blending separate ingredients into a beautiful mix of a recipe is fascinating to some and quizzical to many.
You must have heard people say “Cooking is an Art”. Well, it definitely is and more importantly, it is an art with benefits. Cooking and baking have several advantages like feeling more calm and peaceful. Since it is a type of creativity, it also gives an immense joy to cook too.
One study also revealed that people taking part in creative projects like cooking and baking makes them happier than other kinds of activities. As a result, community-based cooking became a very popular means to boost self-esteem and social skills.
PHYSICAL BENEFITS of COOKING
Cooking keeps our mind happy and our body fit.
The physical benefits of cooking are umpteen. Firstly, cooking at home creates healthy eating habits because we become more mindful of both the good nutrients and bad calories. A study has also shown that mindful cooking impels us to eat less junk food. Plus, cooking at home is wallet-friendly.
And, even if you slurp a considerable amount of cheese and sugar at home, it is still way healthier options than the store-bought processed ones.
THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF COOKING
Though physical benefits for cooking are easily noticeable, there are many therapeutic rewards to cooking as well.
Cooking helps in relieving stress and anxiety. It helps calm the mind and reduce nervousness and restlessness. Moreover, cooking is not only a visual treat for people but other senses like hearing, smelling are stimulated as well. It can be an excellent option to bypass depressive moods.
Watching a movie or playing games can give momentary happiness and relief from crushing boredom. But, these activities cannot keep one satisfied and stress-free in the long run. On the contrary, the effects of cooking last longer. It gives a sense of contentment and tranquillity.
Keeping stress at bay is very important in our society today. So many psychologists also advise culinary therapy nowadays to people undergoing work or other mild stress. It is widely known as kitchen therapy as well.
When cooking, there is a rush of feel-good hormones coursing through the body. It helps in improving the self-image, confidence, and the mood as well. In return, it enhances the quality of life and acts as a motivation for further cooking.
In terms of personal development, not only exercising and taking care of the body helps but loving oneself and improving self-esteem is also a key aspect of overall personal growth. And this is where cooking comes at the help.
Have you ever wondered how something that you eat can make you? Cooking our own food behaves as a bridge between what we eat and who we become. Moreover, preparing food adds the ingredients of love and care to the recipe for overall self-development including a boost in self-confidence.
As a result, cooking does help in improving personal growth. And, this self-love opens other gates of empathy and care.
SATISFACTION TO COOK AND FEED
Cooking and feeding someone caters huge satisfaction to us humans. We are naturally altruistic in nature and the act of sharing and caring keeps us sane and directs our purpose in life.
And the best way is by sharing food with others. We are always hungry for appreciation and cooking is one of the best and easiest ways to earn that.
It can also help in bonding with our family and friends. Besides a well-controlled diet monitored by family members help the children reach optimum health. The study I mentioned earlier also suggested there are positive psychosocial results when a family cooks together.
Humankind known for its compassion and kindness tries to put an end to other’s sorrows and bring joy and happiness into their life. This is a simple yet powerful reason why we love to cook and eat together.
We love creativity. We love to put together things– instead of doing repetitive tasks. It gives us emotional fulfillment and motivation. We may not realize this but we are hardwired to ‘create’ then follow routine tasks.
Creativity takes form in different shapes -cooking, baking, pottery, painting, music, etc. And creative people are happier because they feel to have control of their life most of the time. They have a hidden power to transform a basic raw material to anything they want. This gives them a sense of confidence in themselves.
And, people who often cook feel the same way too. Because believe it or not- cooking is a creative task. And your kitchen becomes your experimental food lab.
IMPROVE TIME-MANAGEMENT AND DECISION-MAKING SKILLS
From my personal experience, this is the biggest takeaways for me. I learned to coordinate timing for everything in life by cooking.
Being a bachelor living alone the question arises- What to cook, how much time to spend each day for preparing food, what ingredients, and when to buy from the grocery- were crucial. I had to organize my day properly and the cooking part too was one crucial part of that process. Since I didn’t want to compromise on my health, I also had to decide beforehand what I cook and eat every day. I would do weekly grocery shopping accordingly. And thanks to it, I learned the most valuable skills of time-management and decision-making.
Cooking teaches a life lesson that time-management is easy. You will begin to get the grasp of what to peel first and what to boil next for the process to speed up and save time. Likewise, it makes you an efficient time planner and organizer in your life as well.
FINALLY… PLATING UP
Initially, it takes time and patience to balance out the chores. Every tiny activity feels like mission-impossible tasks. But in a short time, the process turns out to be delicious. Figuring out the ingredients, the utensils, the recipe, the taste can be nauseating in the beginning but is empowering to your soul eventually.
Once you get the hang of cooking, you can become an expert. Besides, there are so many varieties (regional and global) of dishes to cook from. It is definitely an exciting activity for sure.
Anything we create is art. And making food from scratch is one of them. Like other art forms, it can be a hobby or a profession or a part of a daily chore. Anyway, it gives an immense joy to pursue cooking. This energy of happiness has not only physical but emotional, social, and cognitive benefits.