File this under “things we probably don’t need science to verify.” Eating pizza makes you happy.
The act of burning the roof of your mouth on a too-hot piece of pizza because you literally can’t hold yourself back is probably the closest thing to a universal human experience that exists.
But a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience has found that the amount of pleasure you get from eating super delicious foods is more complex than we previously understood.
Finnish researchers studied 10 men who fasted overnight and were injected with a radioactive compound that binds to opioid receptors in the brain. The men were then given pizza to break their fast, and their brains were scanned as they ate.
The scan was then repeated with a not-delicious liquid meal that had the same amount of calories as the pizza.
Both meals triggered a release of opioids, and the liquid meal actually produced more endorphins. But only the pizza led to an increase in actually pleasant feelings.
The takeaway for the researchers was that the release of opioids in the brain may be independent of the pleasurable feelings associated with delivering bread and melted cheese to your pie hole.
That happiness, in other words, is coming from somewhere other than the opioid release the general act of eating gives us. But the takeaway (ahem) for you, dear reader? Call up your favorite pizza place and get some takeaway.