I scream. You scream. We all scream for… you know how the rest of this saying goes!
Clearly, if there is one kind of food that we all can agree on, it’s ice cream.
There are countless different flavors, and you can top it with everything from fruit to whipped cream to candy bits. Plus, ice cream has a way of bringing people sheer joy and comfort, whether it’s during the peak of summer or the dead of winter (don’t act like you haven’t had a few scoops of ice cream even when it was snowing outside).
Yeah, ice cream is the best. In fact, the only downside might be that it’s not exactly the healthiest food out there.
Or… is it?
Now, we’re not trying to convince you that a scoop of rocky road is the equivalent of a salad or anything, but it is healthier than you might realize.
Below we show you that there is more to ice cream that meets the eye — and the sweet treat actually does contain more than a couple of health benefits.
Ice cream can actually be good for you.
If you’re someone who secretly feels guilty for adding one more scoop to your ice cream bowl every now and then, don’t. Sure, all sweet treats should be eaten in moderation, but there’s no reason to think that ice cream is something you should only have once in a blue moon.
As you’re about to see, some ingredients in ice cream are proven to actually be good for your health!
You can eat ice cream daily and lose weight!
If you’re wondering if you read that right, you did. According to an ABC News article, women who had one scoop of low-fat ice cream a day (and men who had one and a half scoops of the same) lost 26 percent more body weight than those who didn’t.
OK, technically it’s due to not the ice cream itself but the calcium that’s in the frozen dessert. This means you could take a calcium supplement and probably see similar results, but still — if “ice cream” and “weight loss” can even be in the same sentence, why not give it a shot?
What is it about calcium that makes it easier to keep your waistline where you want it to be? Scientists are still researching this topic, but the basic idea is that eating foods that are rich in calcium helps to keep your body strong and your metabolism running well.
One study even revealed that eating low-fat dairy makes it possible for you to eat more calories without regaining any of the weight you’ve already lost.
2. Ice cream contains vitamins and minerals.
When you eat a scoop of ice cream, you can be sure that you’re getting milk and cream into your system. These ingredients are great sources of calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin A, and phosphorus.
Also, depending on the flavor of ice cream you prefer, you might be getting even more nutrients. For instance, vanilla beans have antioxidants, as well as small amounts of calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron. Dark chocolate? It’s loaded with antioxidants and also has flavonoids to protect your heart, oleic acid to lower your cholesterol levels, and phytochemicals to fight off free radicals.
3. Ice cream stimulates the brain.
According to a study that was conducted at the Kyorin University in Tokyo, having ice cream for breakfast could be just what you need to give your brain a boost. The researcher compared a group of people who had ice cream with a group who had a glass of cold water first thing in the morning, and the ones who ate ice cream were much more alert.
Skeptics say that it might not be the ice cream itself because eating anything that has vitamins and minerals in it will do the trick. However, one dietitian said that it could be the fact that ice cream tends to increase the dopamine levels in the body that could make us more awake and alert.
4. Ice cream gives you energy.
Ice cream is typically packed with sugar, and (as most of us know) sugar can provide an instant source of energy.
How? Well, sugar contains glucose, which is a key nutrient that provides our bodies with the fuel we need to get through the day.
5. Ice cream strengthens your bones.
Ever since we were kids, we’ve been told that calcium helps us to build strong bones and teeth. In fact, a whopping 99% of what our bones and teeth are made up of is calcium. And again, ice cream has calcium in it.
Since our bodies don’t naturally produce calcium, we have to find ways to get it into our bodies through food, supplements, and, yep, maybe even an ice cream cone every once in a while.
6. Ice cream boosts your immune system.
How in the world does ice cream boost your immune system? It’s simple, really. Ice cream is a form of fermented dairy, and fermented foods are what help to protect your body from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. The stronger your gut and respiratory systems are, the stronger your immune system will be.
7. Ice cream increases chances of fertility.
Are you trying to get pregnant? If so, stop by the grocery store tonight and pick up some of your favorite ice cream! While some research indicates that low-fat dairy foods can actually make it harder to conceive, other studies indicate that foods containing high-fat dairy can increase your fertility.
One study even revealed that women who consumed one or more servings of high-fat dairy had 27% fewer ovulation issues. So treat yourself to ice cream — the good stuff!
8. Ice cream makes you happier.
We’ve all seen movies where a woman who recently went through a breakup consoled herself with a quart of ice cream. What you might not know is ice cream isn’t just a form of comfort food; it can literally make you happier.
Ice cream helps to produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone in our bodies. Because it does this so well, some medical professionals recommend that those who struggle with seasonal affective disorder keep some ice cream on hand during the winter seasons as a bit of a pick-me-up.
9. Ice cream reduces your breast cancer risk.
Some women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have one thing in common — a calcium deficiency.
If you’re not sure if you’re getting enough calcium in your system, speak with your doctor. In the meantime, this is just one more reason to add some ice cream to your diet. It’s proven that a calcium-rich diet is one of the top ways to lower your risk of breast cancer.
10. Ice cream boosts your libido.
Are you looking for a way to get your partner in the mood for intimacy this week? Bring home a pint of their favorite ice cream!
Ice cream is high in phosphorus, which gives our tissues oxygen, maintains our pH balance, and yes, boosts our libido, too.
Phosphorus helps to keep testosterone levels in check, and it has a way of maintaining one’s sexual arousal.
Consider making your own ice cream.
Now that you know all of the wonderful ways that ice cream can actually benefit you physically, what are you waiting for? Have some.
Our recommendation? Try making your own. You can choose your own ingredients, which means you can make it as healthy as you want.
If you’ve never attempted homemade ice cream before, no worries. It’s actually really simple. Need an example? Check out our mermaid ice cream recipe.