The kitchen has become a family focal point during the pandemic. Surveys show "recipe" is one of the most searched words on Google and 54% of Americans say they are cooking more than before the lockdown began.
Besides being cheaper and safer than going to restaurants, cooking at home actually improves mental health, according to Medical Daily, and can help reduce the stress and anxiety plaguing our nation during the coronavirus crisis.
"Cooking is something that provides us the opportunity to address multiple facets of psychological well-being," said Nicole Farmer, staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health, who conducted a 2017 study on the mental and emotional health benefits of cooking.
Farmer told Inverse she discovered in her research that preparing food for others helped build and improve relationships. She added, cooking "from scratch" gave people a sense of autonomy and purpose. In fact, her study revealed people got the most psychological benefits when they baked a cake rather prepared a box of macaroni and cheese.
Medical Daily says 50% people surveyed by Hunter PR said they planned to continue cooking at home even after the pandemic passes, and 75% say they are now feeling more confident in the kitchen.
The process of cooking also brings in other factors that promote well-being, according to Inverse. The exposure to smell and the visual appeal of food stimulate the neurobiological pathways that enhance our mood.
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