Why pizza makes you happy (according to science)

It may not feel like it right now but it’s International Happiness Day, and to say that the world could use a bit of happiness right now would be an understatement. Well, we have good news: pizza is scientifically proven(-ish) to aid happiness. 

It’s true, and we’re prepared to show our work:

Your brain wants it: 

Your brain is hardwired to desire calorically-dense foods; it’s a survival instinct that we still haven’t evolved out of yet (hopefully, we never will). 

You should never feel guilty for craving salt and fat: that’s just your brain being hit with a little shot of dopamine at the thought of an energy-rich meal. That’s why it feels good to even think about eating pizza. 

The smell of pizza triggers happiness

A 2017 study by a well known pizza brand found that the smell of pizza sparks a happiness response. With a lucky group of subjects, they threw a  bunch of pizza parties and monitored the participants’ facial expressions using hidden HD cameras + facial recognition technology. The result? Happiness peaked right when participants smelled the pizza for the first time (both while it was baking, and when it just came out of the oven). 

Next time you open the lid on your pizza box, remember that, and smile! Actually, you could even forget about that factoid – you’ll be smiling no matter what.

Carbs = serotonin

Carbohydrates are essential for serotonin production. Pizza is carb-rich, which means that it helps to aid the making of happy juice. 

Nutritionists also recommend targeting foods with tryptophan in your diet to make that serotonin production as efficient as possible. Foods that are good sources of tryptophan include poultry, salmon, spinach, and eggs. Chicken and spinach pizza anyone?!

It’s a social food

Pizza is the most inherently shareable food there is. Sure, you can all eat family style from a big container — and, actually, pizzerias sell that stuff too, so go for it when you don’t want pizza — but nothing is more social than opening a big box on the table, grabbing a slice, and eating it together.

It’s delicious.

No science necessary – that’s just a fact. 

Happy International Happiness Day, everyone!

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