Ice cream for breakfast? New research says – go for it!
A new study listed in excite.co.jp, led by Kyorin University professor Yoshihiko Koga, suggests that eating ice cream for breakfast may be beneficial for brain function. Researchers found that test subjects who indulged first thing in the morning experienced better mental performance and overall alertness than those who did not.
In the study, researchers compared brain activity in subjects who had eaten ice cream for breakfast with a control group who had not.
The resulting data showed the ice cream eaters to have the mental advantage. They were able to process information more quickly and effectively than those who had not indulged, and demonstrated better reaction times as well.
In studying their brain activity, researchers were able to conclude that the participants who ate ice cream for breakfast experienced an increase in high-frequency alpha waves in their brains. These brain waves are associated with high levels of alertness, as well as imagination, visualization, memory, learning, and concentration.
The researchers repeated this experiment with a glass of cold water instead of ice cream, and did not see the same effect.
The participants who drank cold water upon waking did show higher levels of alertness and mental performance than those who did not. However, their brains were not as thoroughly stimulated as when they had eaten the ice cream.
Researchers have yet to uncover the reasoning behind these results. They suspect that there is an ingredient in ice cream responsible for this boost in cognitive ability, but they remain unsure as to what it is.
Koga stated that he would also like to investigate the effect having ice cream for breakfast can have regarding energy levels and positive emotion. As excited as I am about these findings, it is important to note that many nutritionists remain skeptical.
“A possible explanation (for increased alertness)… is the simple presence of consuming breakfast vs. not consuming breakfast,” said Katie Barfoot, a Nutritional Psychology Doctoral Researcher at Reading University. “Our brain needs glucose to function, and a high glucose meal will aid mental capacity considerably compared to a fasted brain.
This, however, does not condone eating dessert for breakfast. A study which explores the interaction between consumption of low and high GI foods, whilst including a fasted group, would establish a better understanding of this increased mental capacity.”
Even so, I still think this new dietary plan is worth a try!