Making the case for ice cream

Swimsuit season may be around the corner, but don’t toss the ice cream if you’re worried about calories


Breanna Carr

Despite its reputation for being unhealthy, ice cream can be an important source of comfort and mood-boosting chemicals.

Anjali Darji, Opinions Writer

As summer approaches, more and more people start thinking about their body types and getting ready for swimsuit season. This can lead to limits on some of the comfort foods on which we have been relying all winter long.

Like everything, ice cream, perhaps one of the most popular comfort foods, should be eaten in moderation. Ice cream has always been a source of happiness, but we are constantly told it is bad. There is a reason that ice cream is eaten after break-ups or general emotional turmoil: it creates a sense of contentment and fulfillment. While it is important to note that this can lead to dependence, ice cream has many benefits that make it “good” for you.


Professor Yoshihiko Koga of Kyorin University in Tokyo has conducted a study which “showed higher alertness and quicker response” through “stimulated high-frequency Alpha waves, that serve as connectors between conscious thinking and subconscious mind and are responsible for calmness and relaxation.” The sugar in ice cream provides an instant boost in energy. Additionally, since “ice cream is a form of fermented dairy, and fermented foods are what help to protect your body from gastrointestinal and respiratory infections,” ice cream helps boost your immune system.


Despite its high sugar and fat content, ice cream also has positive benefits. Ice cream contains nutrients such as “calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A, among others.” Also, if the ice cream is topped with nuts or berries, steps are made towards balancing out the sugar and fat within it. A key ingredient in ice cream is milk, and milk contains calcium. Calcium helps maintain strong bones in addition to aiding in the function of the heart and other muscles. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.”

“Not everything in life is about nutrition,” said junior Calleigh Keeley. “Obviously, that is a good long-term goal to have in your life, but having short-term comfort foods can be helpful to the mind. Ice cream provides comfort, which in turn helps improve a person’s mood, so dismissing its emotional benefits just because of the negative health effects is discrediting.”


Simply having ice cream will boost your mood since “your brain’s pleasure/reward or ‘feel good’ centers light up when a favorite food is eaten” and eating ice cream “sparks feelings of nostalgia that can put a smile on your face.” According to Healthline, “Whereas eating an apple or piece of steak might cause a moderate release of dopamine, eating a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is so rewarding that it releases a larger amount” And since “dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure, it’s a big part of our unique human ability to think and plan.”

In addition, ice cream leads to the release of serotonin, commonly known as the happy hormone. The sweet and cool of ice cream can have a prolonged effect, leading to long-lasting happiness.

“The cold can help relax the brain and the enjoyment will improve your mood,” said junior Brenna Delgado.

“Eating ice cream is highly effective in boosting happiness, which makes the health concerns less prominent,” said junior Emily Cardonick.


Despite its “bad” reputation, ice cream can be good for you. The negatives of ice cream are often used to discredit its positives. This should not be the case since ice cream does contain nutrition despite its sugary and fatty nature. Ice cream energizes the body and stimulates the brain. Above all, ice cream is a mood booster due to its ingredients, but also because of the associations with the sweet treat.