If you spent some of your time at home over the last couple years honing your cooking skills, it’s not just easier for you to whip up a tasty meal, science says it can even make you happier. According to a new study, becoming more confident in the kitchen is good for your mental health.
Over the course of two years, researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia partnered with The Good Foundation and Jamie’s Ministry of Food Initiative to put together a mobile food kitchen that provided community cooking lessons.
- During that time, 657 people took part in the seven-week healthy cooking class.
- Study authors measured how the class affected participants’ cooking confidence and self-reported mental health.
- They found that after the class, participants showed significant improvements in their mental health, overall health and general wellbeing, compared to the control group.
- The effects were immediate and lasted for up to six months after.
- Participants reported feeling more confident in their cooking skills afterwards and some even felt empowered to change their eating habits and overcome barriers that kept them from maintaining a healthy diet.
Study authors point out that participants’ mental health typically improved despite most of their diets not changing much after the classes. Lead researcher Dr. Joanna Rees concludes, “This suggests a link between cooking confidence and satisfaction around cooking, and mental health benefits.”
Source: Martha Stewart