If you’re like me, you enjoy grasping at any shred of evidence that eating unhealthy foods can actually provide some positive benefits. Well, here’s another example that we can use to kid ourselves.
Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Tokyo’s Kyorin University partnered with Japanese confectionery producer Koga for a group test that involved giving participants three spoonfuls of ice cream immediately after waking up. Afterwards, they were asked to perform a series of exercises on a PC. The study found that the morning dessert led to an increase in high-frequency alpha waves, which are connected to enhanced alertness and reduced mental irritation. Overall, they displayed faster reaction times and superior information processing capabilities than the control group.
Some have speculated that the participants’ brains were shocked into the heightened state by the freezing temperatures, but a retest with cold water in place of ice cream did not yield the same results.
So far, no line has been drawn between a specific ingredient and the positive effects, so it is possible that other “pleasurable activities” may work just as well.