Here’s how cooking and baking can improve your mental health

Do you see cooking and baking as a chore rather than an opportunity to promote mental wellbeing?

TV chef Marisa Mariella joined Annette Hamm on Morning Live to share how spending time in the kitchen can improve your mental health.

“Fast food, takeout or prepackaged food, we know that they are ultra-processed,” Mariella said in an interview Thursday.

“So you might be filling your tummy but really you’re starving your brain because your brain requires so many nutrients that are associated with wholesome, homemade cooking.”

How Cooking Improves Mental Health

While preparing a meal at home has a number of benefits like saving money and eating healthier, research also suggests that doing so can positively impact your mental health.

In fact, some counsellors recommend cooking as a therapy for those who suffer from depression and anxiety.

Evidence shows that cooking can soothe inner tension, provide a sense of accomplishment, calm the mind, boost self-esteem and offer an opportunity to challenge negative thinking.

“From meal prep to making the actual dish to eating, all aspects of cooking share elements of meditation,” Mariella said.

“Mindful cooking helps to anchor the mind and focus the attention on the sights, sounds, smells and textures to help give you a clear and calm mind.”

If you dread cooking or lack confidence in the kitchen, Mariella recommended finding an easy recipe using common utensils, cooking with loved ones or signing up for a cooking course.