When things go haywire, as they sometimes will, we often find ourselves wanting to nosedive into a bag of chips. This is because when we get stressed, our body's adrenal glands release the hormone cortisol, which increases appetite.
Emotional eating, as we all know, will not make our problems magically disappear, instead it is a habit that can add a few extra inches to our waistline – if you load on unhealthy food that is. But here's the thing- if you reach out for food that is packed with anxiety-relieving nutrients, stress eating might just be a good thing.
When the urge to stress eat comes calling, here is a list of five anxiety-easing eats you can consume.
Yogurt with berries
Drop that tub of ice cream, go for yogurt instead. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are all found in dairy, all of which can positively affect your brain and your mood. Adding berries to the yogurt means a mega-dose of stress-busting antioxidants and immunity-boosting vitamin C.
Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries are packed with stress-beating vitamin B6 and potassium. Choosing them over the regular potato fries means a carby, sweet sensation without the blood-sugar spike.
Oatmeal with chia and/or walnut
Eating oatmeal with walnut and/or chia can be stress-reducing. Whole grains are loaded with B-vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3, iron, calcium, and the mood-stabilizing magnesium, too.
Bananas with almond butter
The folate and vitamin B6 present in bananas, are key to the production of serotonin, which can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Nuts are known to be rich in magnesium and zinc, making it easier for the body to eliminate emotional and physical stress. Hence, for an extra stress-busting boost you could top bananas with cashew, almond, or peanut butter.
The sinfully good stuff is known to improve symptoms of depression and lower body-mass-index (BMI). Dark chocolate also lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. The cocoa content in dark chocolate can boost your levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps you de-stress and feel happier. However, do not overdo this “chocolate cure”.
Make sure to keep a check on your portion size though and you will do just fine!