Happy young girl with her mother making dough. Mother and daughter baking in kitchen.

I’ve always considered myself a “foodie,” but what exactly does that mean? A passion for cooking, trying new dishes and taking pictures of every meal you’ve ever had may come to mind. However, I have come to realize the immense benefits of appreciating the culinary arts. Even if you don’t consider yourself a cook or even interested in cooking, it has a strong impact on self-esteem and creativity.

A study published by the Journal of Positive Psychology even found that those who cook or bake regularly are happier in their day-to-day lives, as creativity is associated with emotional functioning. Besides the scientific findings, being a foodie can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Increase Creativity/Confidence: As the study showed, stimulating your creative side is excellent for your mental health. It is so rewarding to challenge yourself with new ingredients or try something completely foreign to you. I’ve found cooking to be somewhat similar to finishing a piece of artwork or a major project; you have to be resourceful and determined throughout the process, but the outcome makes you feel proud and confident.
  • Explore New Cultures: Being a foodie also means being a learner. Food is what allows every culture to express itself in the form of taste. No matter where you are in the world, nothing will taste exactly the same, and the uniqueness of flavor is an amazing cultural trait. As I’ve travelled throughout my lifetime, I’ve found that trying a new food allows you to learn about the traditions behind a dish, its historical significance, rituals, and even agricultural practices. If you love to travel or explore new cultures, being a foodie is key.
  • Develop Newfound Appreciation: Appreciating food is an excellent way to appreciate the small things in life. Knowing that there is so much more to a dish than meets the eye gives the art a newfound respect and admiration. It can also give you a sense of gratitude. Food is what fuels all of us as human beings and connects one another across the globe, and being grateful will make the foodie life all the more rewarding.