Attractively presented desserts, syrupy mithai and creamy ice-creams are believed to do wonders to the mind although the dietician ticks them off the daily menu. Despite the generous doses of sugar, which aren't good for health, desserts can have their positive uses. For one, they are known to put people in a happy state of mind.

Cinema and popular culture have often shown desserts as the panacea for emotional pain. Heartbroken protagonists dig into that huge bowl of ice-cream and eat large spoonfuls between wiping away tears while a chunky piece of chocolate cake can alleviate stress caused by an abusive spouse or an angry boss. Desserts are depicted as the delicious stress-reliever and it's not without reason.

Releases serotonin: Imagine an evening when you arrive home cranky after battling stressful deadlines and endless traffic snarls, and a bowl of ice-cream awaits you. The irritation melts away and is replaced by a warm feeling of contentment. "This simple act of indulgence becomes a momentary escape from the daily pressures, allowing you to unwind and recharge. Desserts have a remarkable way of helping people de-stress both mentally and scientifically," says Aleesha Desai, deputy general manager (marketing), Baskin Robbins India.

This is not just a whimsical notion coined by sugar lovers. "There is, of course, actual science supporting this sweet magic. When we consume desserts, our brains release serotonin, often called the 'feel-good' neurotransmitter which promotes feelings of happiness and relaxation, further reinforcing the therapeutic effects of enjoying sweet treats. So yes, desserts are a great stress-relief remedy," she says.

Conjures happy memories: Desserts and sweets, usually associated with happy memories, lift spirits. "Desserts in Indian culture are often associated with celebrations, gatherings and social events. Sharing a sweet treat with a loved one creates positive emotions, contributing to overall happiness," says Yash Bhanage, founder and COO of Bombay Sweet Shop, Mumbai.

Engages multiple senses: Cakes topped with fruits, mithai with a sprinkling of nut shavings, and ice-creams with syrups drizzled on them are a visual treat as well. The sight, aromas, texture and taste appeal to the various senses, which leads to a positive feeling of contentment. "Desserts engage multiple senses, which intensify the pleasure during their consumption. The sight of a beautifully presented dessert, the aroma of fresh bakes, the taste of varied flavours, and the texture of creamy or crunchy treats all combine to create a multisensory experience, which makes you happy," says Bhanage.

Relieves stress: Stress, which is an inevitable part of modern life, has an antidote in the form of desserts. "Desserts offer a form of indulgence and comfort. A good dessert is like a warm hug. The act of enjoying a dessert can create a momentary escape from daily stressors, allowing you to relax and unwind," says Bhanage.

Eating it right: Desserts, when eaten at the right temperature, enhance the experience of tasting all flavours. While certain mithai are best served warm and others cold, the best temperature to serve and eat ice-cream is -14 to -12 degrees Celsius. "At this temperature, the ice-cream is firm enough to hold its shape but soft enough to be easily scooped and enjoyed. At this magical temperature, your taste buds are in for a treat because they come alive, fully embracing the rich creaminess and flavours. Temperatures below this range may leave your taste buds feeling a bit chilly and less receptive to the subtle nuances of your ice-cream," says Desai.

Subscribe to India Today Magazine

Watch Live TV in English

Watch Live TV in Hindi

2023-08-01T14:27:38Z dg43tfdfdgfd