Ask anyone what their favorite food is and they can name at least one food off the top of their head. For me, it’s dark chocolate. And peanut butter. And potato chips. (See what I mean?) There are lots of reasons we may love these foods, but sometimes it’s the result of ingredients that affect our brain chemistry, rather than just appeal to our taste buds.
Caffeine has addictive properties, sending us into withdrawal symptoms if we don’t get our fix. If you can’t put down that bag of Doritos, it’s because MSG is added to heighten the flavor, making us want more, more, more. A study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine found that artificial sweeteners actually encourage the brain to request more sugar. Foods like oysters, chocolate, or chili peppers are purported to have chemicals that trigger an aphrodisiac effect.