It is well known that particular constituents of certain foods have specific benefits to the body. Apparently, grated carrots can be used to help heal wounds, cuts and inflammation.
Blueberries are one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins which have a unique ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins.
And, still in the brain, while it has been known for centuries that eating fish is good for the brain, recent studies show that fatty acids such as docosahexaeonic acid which occur mostly in fatty fish like herring, salmon and mackerel, are thought to lower the blood pressure, to strengthen the immune system and to have positive effects on the development on the nervous system and the cardiovascular system.
So, perhaps it is not so surprising that a food has been discovered which can substantially increase people’s emotional intelligence.
That this food is rice pudding is perhaps harder to believe.
Studies in New Zealand have shown that a regular consumption of rice pudding can improve a person’s EI by up to ten percentage points. In one experiment, two groups of university students were shown a number of film clips containing a range of interpersonal situations from love making to conversations to arguments and even cruelty. These were, of course, acted, so some caution needs to be applied to the findings of the experiment. Even so, the researches claim the results are statistically significant.
Students were assessed before and after the experiment on a number of EI metrics, including sympathy, empathy, rapport, capacity to articulate the emotions they observed, and those they felt. Those in the group who had been consuming rice pudding showed significant gains in EI, compared to the control group, on all these metrics, with those clips showing the consequences of an interpersonal exchange being the most strong (eg Homer Simpson’s remorse following a row with Marge about him blowing up their house).
Crucially, the students were followed up. Half the group who had been consuming rice pudding continued to eat it regularly and their EI levels were assessed at the end of a further period. These were consistently higher than the other half who ceased consumption, with particularly strong effects being shown in the areas of teenage romance and fluffy kittens.
Future research will address the effect that the sugar may play, and even the use of grated nutmeg will be addressed.
So, it looks like a rice pudding a day keeps the shrink away.