You don’t need a ton of technical knowledge or expensive supplies to master the art of cooking. The critical thinking required when you are in the kitchen cooking is an awesome way to get smarter. Your kitchen is probably pretty well stocked with the tools you might need to make cooking your new delicious pastime. So if you’ve always passed off the cooking duties to some other, more skilled member of your household, why not set your mind to learning how to cook?
Ways cooking makes you smarter
Cooking involves planning. Planning skills are something that we must develop. The same planning skills you use for meals and menus will serve you well in many other life areas.
Cooking requires that you multitask. Even with simple meals, you’ll be working on your ability to multitask. Think of what it’s like teaching a young child how to make a peanut butter sandwich. There is setting the table, taking out the ingredients, making the sandwich, and finally cleaning up. More intensive cooking projects involve many more tasks than this, so if you’re learning to cook you can be sure that your brain is getting a full workout.
Cooking sharpens our sense of timing. Ask any new cook, the biggest challenge in preparing a meal such as a dinner is trying to coordinate the making and serving of the main course and sides. Learning to balance keeping all the components hot, ready, and at their peak is a challenge. You want your guests to enjoy the meal and all its courses without feeling rushed or hungry. Seasoned cooks become really good at this, and it’s definitely a function of your brain that you can have fun developing while experimenting with and enjoying new recipes.
Cooking develops our team-building skills. Having a partner in the kitchen for planning, prepping, and making a meal gives us a chance to use additional brain functions. Two big ones are communication and coordination. You have to get comfortable with delegation and trust. Who’s watching the meat and who’s concentrating on the sides? Who will set the table and who will make the soup? One person might want to be the leader and the other one can serve as a helper. Aligning yourselves to your roles boosts our sense of belonging and functioning in, a social group.
Feeding people activates the feel-good brain chemicals. When we feel nurtured our bodies produce oxytocin. Feeding is exactly that, a type of nurturing. You feel the effect in your nervous system as a feeling of calm and clarity of thought.
It doesn’t matter if you’re one of those people who “can’t even boil water.” If you’ve always enjoyed different types of cuisine and you’re looking to feed your brain while you nourish your body, you can uncover a universe of possibilities in home cooking.