Baking may help reduce the blues

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Best-ever Baked Ricotta Cheesecake
Camera IconBest-ever Baked Ricotta Cheesecake

It seems there may be a logical reason why supermarket baking aisles have been stripped bare during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bunbury psychologist Jay Anderson.

With the majority of families stuck at home self-isolating, Mrs Anderson says that for most, baking is being used as a coping mechanism.

“During this time, lots of people are anxious and stressed and change can be disruptive,” she said.

“So things that have routine and order, like baking, can be calming and provide stability and structure to those living a life without structure.

“Preparing food and eating it can be comforting in times like this, especially for those isolating alone.”

Mrs Anderson said baking could also help with social interaction.

“Some people may find it relaxing or peaceful while others may find it productive and rewarding,” she said.

“Whether it is something to do with the kids or a partner, baking can assist in improving relationships or be used as a distraction from other household stress.”

But while baking may be healthy for the mind and soul, Bunbury nutritionist Lauretta Peirce is encouraging people to go for lower carbohydrate options where they can.

“You can use different types of flours such as buckwheat or spelt to reduce your carbohydrate intake and reduce your sugar intake by using substitutes like coconut sugar,” Ms Peirce said.

“The reason you want to reduce the amount of sugar you are taking in is that it can disrupt your body’s microbiome and can cause depression, lethargy and fatigue.

“It is important that during this time we are monitoring our food intake and moving as much as we can to ensure we look after our health.”

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