You probably aren’t expecting anything but a sugar rush and a satisfied stomach after having an indulgent ice cream session, but there is good news in store; ice cream does indeed have its benefits! Ok, ok, ok 🙄, before you call the chia seed and acai ambassadors, indulging too much in the cold, delicious dessert will result in you looking a little more like this man below.
However as with most things in life, ice cream, in moderation, does include a number of benefits so when better than international ice cream month (national ice cream day is EVERY year on the third Sunday of July) to learn about them, before you grab a scoop or two?
Strengthens Bone Health
The milk solids in ice cream are loaded with calcium which we need to maintain our bone strength, to help prevent brittle bones and osteoporosis. Calcium cannot be made from our body and it is the most important mineral for bone health so we can use ice cream to replenish this all important mineral on occasion.
Increases Your Fertility
If you’re trying to conceive, ice cream may increase your chance of ovulation as this study conducted in 2007 found eating ice cream twice a week had a 38% lowered risk of ovulation-related infertility. This study looked at 18,000 women and was found to increase fertility even when compared to lower fat dairy products such as yogurt and milk, so if you want a real baby, get ready to dig in!
Boosts Your Immunity
It is surprisingly packed with Vitamin C, E, D, B6 and B12 and Vitamin K. The presence of Vitamin K thins the blood and reduces the chances of blood clotting. Ice cream also includes niacin, thiamine, antioxidants and riboflavin, with some of these potentially increasing, depending on the flavor you pick. My favorite is dark chocolate, which always promises to increase my antioxidant uptake. These vitamins and minerals stimulate your immune system and promote nerve and organ functions.
Makes You Happier
You might not need anyone to tell you this, because who can imagine anyone feeling sad with an ice cream cone in their hands? There is however a scientific basis for this, as ice cream increases the amount of serotonin and dopamine in your bodies. These are neurotransmitters linked to a happier mood and increased pleasure. Not only that, but researchers found these effects to be instantaneous as the effects are seen in your orbitofrontal cortex - the brain’s pleasure center – after that first bite.
So what are you waiting for? Now that you know you can have your helping of ice cream (in a balanced diet, complete with exercise of course), there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying that ice cream sundae all Ice Cream Month 😎🍦🍨