Pasta© Pexels

Can Eating Pasta Make You Feel Better? Here’s What Research Says...

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

If you’re someone who loves pasta (or anyone with a working set of taste buds), then you wouldn’t need any study to tell you that eating a bowl of pasta can make you feel happier almost instantly. But even so, a team of researchers in Milan have conducted a survey that might scientifically prove that pasta might physiologically make you feel better.

The Behavioural and Brain Lab at the Free University of Languages and Communication IULM in Milan, Italy, had researchers study participants to gather evidence to back the universally known fact. The study had 40 participants, aged between 25-55 years, eat pasta. They measured their physical and neurological changes as they ate it and compared it to the reactions they had while listening to their favourite music or watching a sporting event.

According to the study’s findings, eating pasta was more effective than sports or music at “activating cognitive memory processes”.

Spaghetti on a plate©Unsplash

“Through this study, science has put itself at the service of emotions to certify that pasta and happiness are one,” reads a statement by Vincenzo Russo, a Professor of Consumer Psychology and Neuromarketing at IULM University and the Founder and Coordinator of the Neuromarketing Behavior & Brain Lab IULM, “The results tell us that it is precisely when we eat pasta that we are most emotionally active. It is, therefore, the real act of tasting and savouring the dish in its full flavour to stimulate the most positive memories and emotions.”

Many participants confirmed that eating pasta made them feel happier and that it was their comfort food.

Now, should you replace all your meals with pasta to remain in a constant state of euphoria?

You don’t have to be an Italian researcher to know that this sounds deranged. While eating pasta can make you feel happier than most other things, the study should be taken with a pinch of salt. It has not been peer-reviewed or published in an academic journal yet and, perhaps the research’s biggest red flag, it was conducted on behalf of Unione Italiana Food, a trade organisation that represents Italy’s pasta producers.

So while you can use the research to justify an occasional pasta binge, maybe it will be best to stick to what your body (and certified nutritionist) is telling you about your diet!