Warning: some of you reading this article may find it a little gross. In fact, the first time I heard this fact, I cringed. Like, a lot.

Over thousands of years, humans have undergone evolution. Our faces have changed, our bodies have morphed, and our behavior has adapted to the world around us. However, little pieces of our predecessors have still been left behind. Among those little pieces are some of our most basic motivations and preferences.

For example, why do we love fatty and high calorie foods so much? Our cavemen ancestors needed the fat and salt to survive during long, cold periods of time when food and water was scarce. Cavemen and women alike had to deal with what they were given, which wasn’t a lot. Men had to scavenge for meals and women had to care for their children using only what their mamas gave them.

breast milk

Photo by Stephanie Lee

So, what does this have to do with your love for a big, old pint of vanilla ice cream? Let me rewind for you. Smell is one of the most evocative senses we have as humans. Getting the tiniest whiff of perfume, food, or pretty much anything can transport us back in time and remind us of some particular occurrence.

According to one researcher at Brown University, the smells that we are exposed to as newborns often produce the largest triggers for memory relapse. Of course, as babies, we spend the majority of our days around our mothers who clean, care for, and feed us. And what do babies love more than anything? Milk. More specifically? Breast milk.

breast milk

Photo by Vedika Luthra

See where I’m going with this? Getting weirded out yet? Good, you should be. For those of you who haven’t guessed where this is going, I’m about to tell you. Scientists have discovered that breast milk smells AND tastes like an awful lot like sweet vanilla ice cream.

Yup, that’s right. If you’re a huge fan of vanilla ice cream, milkshakes, or other vanilla flavored treats, you’re just reminiscing on your days before solid food. Don’t believe me? Do some research on the Internet. Enjoy your ice cream!