Forget about natto. For breakfast, I'm having...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be a bit cooler today-about 5C cooler. We're looking at highs between 13C and 16C all week with a chance of rain on Sunday. I hope the weather changes for Sunday, I don't feel like going for a run through the mountains of Miyajima in the rain...

Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Tokyo’s Kyorin University, is a specialist in psychophysiology, including the potential stress-relieving and anti-aging benefits of food choices.

As part of a joint study with a major Japanese confectionery producer, Koga had a group of test subjects eat ice cream right after waking up in the morning. The immediate effect, no doubt, was to make Koga every participant’s best friend. Of greater scientific importance, though, was that the subjects’ brains exhibited an increase in high-frequency alpha waves, which are connected to enhanced alertness and reduced mental irritation.

Ice cream for breakfast sounds like a kid’s dream come true, but Koga’s results suggest benefits for working adults as well. After their morning ice cream, participants were made to do a series of exercises using a PC, and displayed faster reaction times and superior information processing capabilities compared to the ice cream-less control group.

Of course, ice cream, by its very nature, has to be served freezing cold, so some might speculate that the morning mental boost was simply the result of shocking the brain into an awakened state with a low-temperature stimulus. So Koga repeated the experiment, subbing cold water for ice cream, and while he did notice some mental benefits, the effect was smaller than what he’d observed in the ice cream group.

However, Koga has yet to announce any concrete connection between the brain boost the ice cream provides and any specific ingredient found in the treat. As such, it’s possible that the same effect could be produced by starting the day with some other sort of pleasurable activity, such as light exercise, a quick video game session, or reading my blog...

It’s also worth noting that Koga isn’t recommending you roll out of bed and have a whole carton of Häagen-Dazs (no matter how tempting that new flavor sounds). The experiment participants were given three spoonfuls of ice cream for their morning ration, so you might need to boost your willpower before trying to repeat Koga’s experiment.

It sounds tempting to, I only have to decide what flavor to start my day with...

haagen dazs flavors

Any of them look tempting to you?

Have a great day!

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