Cooking at home can seem like a monumental task, especially if, like me, you suck at cooking. 

The fact is that preparing your own meals leads to a healthier lifestyle. No real big surprise there. However, the benefits don’t stop with a healthier diet. Growing bodies of research show that your new-found cooking habit can benefit your brain as well. 

The brain processes involved in making a meal are known as executive functions, which help us plan and control goal-directed thoughts and actions. 

While trying to not burn down the kitchen, we exercise vital skills like organization, memory recollection, problem-solving, and improvisation. Exercising these executive brain functions also helps to manage frustration and emotion control under pressure. 

Culinary therapy is even being explored by psychologists as a potential treatment for a whole host of mental illness including depression, anxiety, and PTSD.  

The best place to start is a cookbook designed for beginners, with healthy whole food recipes. 

So get in that kitchen and give it a shot. But please, always keep a fire extinguisher handy, just in case.