Cutting-edge wellness advice from doctors suggest that eating candy every once in a while leads to better mental health. In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, we uncover the benefits of everyone’s favorite Mexican candy: chamoy.
There’s a reason why the phrase “eat your feelings” exists. Eating food is often used as a way to suppress or soothe negative emotions. Whether you’re upset, angry, or stressed, diving into something sweet and tangy like chamoy is the ultimate dopamine trigger.
You’ve always suspected chamoy could fix anything, right? Now we have the science to back you up.
May is National Mental Awareness Month and, in honor of this important health celebration, we’ll dive deep into the physical and mental benefits of eating chamoy.
Why is mental health celebrated?
Just like the World Health Organization says, “there is no health without mental health.”
Since its inception by Mental Health America (MHA) in 1949, every May in the United States we raise national awareness and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. This month-long celebration advocates for and provides support to the millions of people in the country affected by mental illness.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. affecting 40 million adults from the age of 18 every year and only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
It’s also important to recognize that women are twice as likely to be affected as men, while 31.9% of adolescents between 13 and 18 years old are affected. What’s more, July brings awareness to the unique struggles of racial and ethnic minority communities.
Why is mental health important?
Whether you’re a kid, teen or adult, your mental health is important.
Our mental wellbeing affects how we think, feel and act. It determines how you handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices for ourselves and those around us.
The concept of mental health and mental fitness is often misunderstood, which leads to people suffering in silence and not seeking treatment. As a result, Mental Health Awareness Month aims to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.
The surprising mental health benefits of eating candy
What we eat has an impact on our emotions. Candy and sweet treats are linked to some of life’s happiest and most memorable moments: birthdays, baby showers, Halloween, etc.
No matter what we celebrate, eating candy releases our brain’s feel-good chemicals to bring us joy.
Remember those delicious chamoyadas at your cousin’s third birthday, or the surprise lollipops your dad brought you home every day after work? Candy happiness is real!
The brain consumes 50% of our body’s sugar for energy. Because sugar releases dopamine, eating candy leads to reward, novelty and motivation.
Aside from releasing dopamine in the brain, sugar also releases endogenous opioids, which are responsible for the sudden surge of pleasure you feel from eating candy.
Bottom line, candy does wonders for your mind and mood, especially when it’s made with really good ingredients and top notch processes—just try Sophia’s Spicy Treats chamoy covered candy, dips and sauces!
Happy people work harder (especially when they eat chamoy)
Working through mental health is often a private experience but the journey does not have to be made alone. As with many kids, candy can be a powerful motivator—just ask your mom!
Chamoy candy has the same motivating benefits in adults.
In addition, studies have shown that consuming capsaicin—the molecular compound in chili peppers that causes the sensation of heat—may not only create better cognition in humans but may also prevent age-dominant diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chamoy for all: Red candy makes you happier
If your favorite candy flavors come in either pink or red colors, you’re not alone. There’s a scientific reason why pink and red candies are so irresistible!
According to Charles Spence, PhD, a University of Oxford psychologist, color has a much more substantial effect on people than they realize. That’s especially true of red, which is reported to be indicative of sweetness.
Red is often associated with feelings of happiness.
Chamoy is a quintessential bright red Mexican dipping sauce used to season anything from beverages to crunchy snacks. There are now multiple variations of chamoy, but the original one is the bright red topping made of dried fruits, like dried apricots, prunes, mango or plums.
Do you feel anxious or panicked? A sweet and sour treat could instantly alleviate your symptoms, as suggested by a therapist’s TikTok
One in ten Americans suffer from at least one panic attack a year, and around 2.7%—roughly six million people—have panic disorders. Many people describe panic attacks as feeling like having a heart attack when suddenly they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, a racing heart, sweating, tingling, or numbness.
In fact, a TikTok user recently opened up about her ongoing panic attacks and said that her therapist told her to buy sour candy to eat when she feels her panic or anxiety starting to build.
As licensed trauma therapist Micheline Maalouf confirms, the cheek-squeezing, tart reaction you have from sucking on a super sour candy automatically distracts your brain from feelings of panic and can stop a panic attack.
Biting into something sour, spicy, or extremely salty can take your mind off of your shallow breathing or sweaty palms.
This is what therapists call a grounding technique, which helps people recenter themselves and live in the present as opposed to spiraling over other intrusive thoughts that cause that panic, stress, or anxiety in the first place.
Our high quality chamoy candy is special
There’s a saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and apparently so does a little candy. But remember: all things in moderation!
There is skepticism about the “sugar high,” but research shows that high-quality candy and natural cane sugar have a real effect on the brain and body.
Quality sweets reduce stress and improve your mood—just ask anyone with a sweet tooth. One of the things that sets Sophia’s Spicy Treats’ chamoy candy and dip sauces from others is the quality of the ingredients we use to make our candy.
Some of our ingredients include real fruit instead of extracts, quality cane sugar as opposed to high-fructose syrup, and handpicked natural spices, never artificial flavors.
More health benefits from eating chamoy…
1. Vitamin A and Potassium:
Many of the fruits used in making chamoy—such as tamarind and plums—contain high levels of vitamin A and potassium, which are important for a healthy immune system, heart and lungs.