Do gooey molten lava cakes make your heart skip a beat? Are cupcakes topped with rainbow sprinkles your biggest vice? Despite what you may have heard, your profound love and appreciation for desserts can actually benefit your health. Why not have your cake and eat it too (literally) with these five excellent reasons to indulge today?
1. Desserts are packed with nutrients.
There’s a reason why your body craves certain delicious desserts. Low carb diets often overlook the fact that carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for the body. While desserts may not be the healthiest form of carbohydrates, the right indulgences can fuel your body and mind.
Plus, sweets such as pumpkin pie or dark chocolate contain rich sources of whole foods that provide necessary vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants to your diet.
2. Desserts make you happier…no, really!
Have you ever taken a bite of your favorite dessert and felt instantly transported to a higher level of happiness? That feeling is real.
According to The Nest, foods that have a naturally high percentage of carbohydrates help the brain and body produce chemicals (such as serotonin) that contribute to overall emotional well-being.
Indulging in your favorite dessert alters your mind and body in positive ways. Take full advantage of this scientific process by allowing yourself to enjoy your favorite sweet treat without that extra side of guilt. You really are doing something good for your body!
3. Eating dessert can actually improve your weight control.
Cravings for sweets are one of the biggest causes of diet failure. When the average adult quits eating desserts all together, they may see improvement in their short term fitness goals.
However, studies have shown that adults who indulge in dessert but eat an otherwise nutritious diet have a greater chance of producing long term success in weight loss. This is true because the body will respond to small amounts of desserts that satisfy cravings by satiating its own appetite for them.
Choosing to stop consuming sweets altogether in the hopes of achieving a weight loss goal will almost always lead to binge eating and over consumption when you finally do indulge. Balancing your indulgences with healthier eating and regular exercise is more likely to lead to diet success than completely eliminating them.
4. Desserts offer a convenient opportunity to incorporate more fruit into your diet.
Fruit, as we all know by now, is an essential part of your daily intake of nutrients that keep you healthy, strong, and immune to certain diseases. Unfortunately, you may not be getting the necessary dose of these powerful food options.
Adding raspberries and blueberries to a bowl of frozen greek yogurt makes an already healthy dessert (rich in protein and healthy fats) into a positively vital meal for your daily fruit intake. Don’t be afraid to get creative; from chocolate-covered strawberries to vanilla and mango smoothies, the options are all scrumptious and endless.
5. Desserts can remedy the negative side effects of dieting.
Ever wonder why they serve jello or chocolate pudding to hospital patients? When patients lose their appetite due to illness, it is easier and more enjoyable to consume sugary, low-nutrient carbohydrates than any other type of food.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, suddenly decreasing your intake of carbs and sugar deprives your body of the necessary glucose needed for energy. Dieting can actually increase feelings of sluggishness, mental fog, and distraction. Just another reason to salvage those Oreos from the trash.
To all the die-hard dessert fans out there, take heart-that cherry pie may just be the best food choice you’ve made all day. Although it is still important to focus on consuming a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, vegetables, and protein, desserts add a little more excitement to your meals.
And besides making you happier, desserts can also sometimes make you healthier.