There are surprising benefits to the simple act of cooking together – we’ve explored 4 of them.
For many people around the world, the art of cooking has become more accessible thanks to a proliferation of celebrity chefs and their accompanying cookbooks. More readily available ingredients from other countries and cultures have also crept onto most grocery store shelves. Cooking has been elevated from a daily chore to an enjoyable hobby. It ranges from home cooking for personal pleasure to a way for people to supplement their income. Some even change the way they make their living altogether. We explore four benefits of cooking together and how this activity can boost your health.
Here are some of the unexpected benefits of cooking with your partner, family member or friend.
It boosts your brain.
Finding time to focus on one task and completing it can improve your mental health is. What better and more satisfying task than to make a delicious meal you can eat? The various steps involved in cooking are functional building blocks for strengthening neural pathways. Following this process can lead to improved mood and brain function. You read recipes, choose dishes, source and prepare ingredients and following instructions. Cooking together reduces stress and engages both sides of your brain. Engaging in bi-lateral brain activities improves overall mental health and helps boost memory and cognitive performance. In addition
It improves physical health.
Besides being good for your brain from a functional point of view, it also benefits your physical health. Cooking food from scratch instead of heating up a ready-made meal gives you better nutrients and includes fewer additives found in so many processed foods. Whole food eating is healthier and meals prepared this way are higher in antioxidants, healthy fats and fibre too.
It strengthens your relationship.
Doing something constructive and satisfying with a loved one helps create new shared memories and makes for an enjoyable experience. Cooking together requires good teamwork which rests on the ability to communicate clearly and share responsibilities. The more you engage in this kind of mutual activity the more you build on these relationship skills. And this will deepen your shared experience.
Broaden your horizons
This shared activity can extend beyond the home. Take part in a local cooking class to improve your repertoire or consider travelling especially to experience different cuisines and learn new techniques. Cuisine and culture go hand in hand. Some of our favourite books and cooking shows incorporate cuisine and travel. Making a meal from another country or culture can spark an interest and even an itinerary.
Ready to reach for your aprons yet? The 4 benefits we shared should be reason enough to start cooking with a partner. Eating a meal cooked from scratch is rewarding as well as satisfying. Taking some freshly baked bread form the oven is one of life’s great pleasures. Sharing the experience makes it that much more so. Get started with these 10 popular and delicious recipes. Or reach for those cookbooks in your shelf and make one of your favourite tried and tested dishes.