Do you ever have one of those days where nothing can make your day better except an insanely good slice of pizza? Those tend to be how most of my days go! J All jokes aside, pizza is good for certain psychological and emotional health. I know you’re probably thinking to yourself what your emotions have to do with pizza. Well quite a lot! To begin, it starts off with the chemistry of the pizza itself.
The science starts off with the combination of cheese and tomato sauce. Both flavors pair and compliment each other while in the oven; simultaneously turning brown and combining flavors that we all know and love. Science says the reason why foods turn brown and crispy while baking (or cooking) in the oven is owed to the chemical reaction of caramelization. Most, if not all foods contain some level of natural sugars, and when these levels of sugar reach between 230-320 degrees Fahrenheit these sugars begin to bubble up and brown. When these flavorful ingredients start to emerge together and caramelize, the food becomes flavorful and sweet.
Here comes the fun part, the psychology behind pizza. Why do we [humans] like it so much? Well, according to science and research, humans tend to be drawn to food that are fatty, rich, and sweet- and pizza is one of those foods that contains all three! Better yet, pizza contains ingredients that enriched in a chemical called glutamate. Glutamate is a chemical and a neurotransmitter that once it falls on our tongue sends a signal to our brain that not only gets us excited, but to also crave more of whatever we are ingesting. However you like and eat your pizza, all types and flavors combined, pizza is a destined comfort food. The feelings that arise and associated when eating your favorite type of pizza are linked to the dopamine chemical in our brain, the neurotransmitter in our brain linked to pleasure and reward!
1. Vegan Recipe– https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/vegan/vegan-pizza/
Mahant, A. (2020, September 18). Pizza: The Psychology & Chemistry Behind Why People Love It –. Little Letters Linked. https://littleletterslinked.com/pizza-the-psychology-chemistry-behind-why-people-love-it/.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this or other negative thoughts and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.