Ice cream
10 health benefits of eating ice cream picjumbo/Pixabay


  • National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on Dec. 13
  • Ice cream has the potential to be an effective probiotic carrier
  • Research suggests that a cold diet relieves post-tonsillectomy pain

There's a special day for everyone's favorite dessert that's typically enjoyed during warm summer days. It's National Ice Cream Day this Dec. 13.

But before indulging in scoops of this dessert's creamy goodness, you should know that it offers more than just a sugar rush. Ice cream may also pack a number of health benefits. However, frequency, moderation and nutritional profile must be taken into account before enjoying the pleasure of having more.

1. Fat content

Chocolate Ice Cream
StockSnap/ Pixabay

You get that kick after gorging on ice cream because of the potent trinity in it: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, which are in charge of boosting energy.

Fats play a vital role in the human diet since it serves as the structural foundation of the cells and the carrier of fat-soluble vitamins. However, there are "good" (unsaturated) and "bad" (trans fats) fats, and ice cream mostly consists of saturated fat — the type that should only be consumed in moderation.

Although saturated fats may not be as unhealthy as trans fats, they may still have harmful effects compared to unsaturated fats, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

2. Protein content

Photo: Reuters

Another macronutrient that can maintain energy levels is protein, which serves as a long-lasting energy source. Interestingly, it also reduces fatigue and promotes tissue growth and repair.

3. Carbohydrate content

An employee prepares a scoop of ice cream at the Miko Carte d'Or, part of the Unilever group, factory in Saint-Dizier, France, on May 4. Reuters

Foods with sugar, like ice cream, are classified as carbohydrates that provide calories. Carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose, are the body's main energy source.

4. Mood booster

People eat ice cream on a hot day as Spain braces for a heatwave in Madrid, Spain, June 10, 2022.
People eat ice cream on a hot day as Spain braces for a heatwave in Madrid, Spain, June 10, 2022. Reuters / SUSANA VERA

Everyone has a go-to comfort food, and ice cream is one of those soothing treats that can turn a bad day around. However, each person has their natural preferences for what makes them happy. So what's the science behind this familiar pleasure?

According to a study published in Psychology of Well-Being Theory Research and Practice, there is no proof that people "consciously experience" happiness as a result of eating ice cream. However, the same study discovered that naming three things for which you are grateful for has a positive mood effect (the positive emotions mediating halfway) when combined with ice cream consumption.

Ice cream contains the the amino acid L-tryptophan, which is synthesized into serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone that is responsible for elevating mood.

5. Vitamin-infused

Vitamin Supplements

Additionally, ice cream may be a good source of vitamins that support body growth and metabolism. A study published in the Academic Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Research said ice cream contains fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and E) and water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B6 and B12. Fruit-infused ice cream also contains Vitamin C.

6. Rich in minerals

Ice Cream

Alongside being a good source of vitamins, ice cream also contains minerals that help maintain strong bones and promote a healthy immune system. Ice cream is rich in nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and sulfur, according to the Academic Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Research.

7. Probiotic carrier

Children eat ice cream at Appleby-in-Westmorland, England on June 4, 2015. Reuters

Due to ice cream's capacity to be stored for an extended period and the probiotic "Lactobacillus" that it contains, ice cream has the potential to be an effective probiotic carrier for the "stabilization and in vivo delivery of bioactive compounds."

8. Pain relief for throat ailments


A 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that a cold diet relieves post-tonsillectomy pain after the surgical removal of the tonsils. But antibiotics are still advised for the treatment of throat ailments or discomfort.