Stress eating is a concept that lots of us are familiar with: you feel stressed, so you eat. You want comfort food, and the sad part about that is that most comfort food is not all that good for you. You might feel better in the short term, but then there’s all that guilt! There are healthy ways to eat to calm stress, though. It’s all about eating foods that have properties that affect mood, and letting that do the work to calm you down. Here are some foods that calm stress:
- Avocado: Avocado has magnesium, which can boost mood and lower anxiety.
- Nuts and seeds: Also a great source of magnesium, as well as healthy fats which help with brain health.
- Whole grains: Carbs help produce serotonin, the feel-good hormone, and to get the most of carb eating, eat complex carbohydrates which help keep you feeling full longer. Complex carbohydrates keep your blood sugar levels steady, which has a great effect on your mood.
- Green leafy vegetables: They have the nutrient folate, which produces dopamine, another pleasure brain chemical.
- Turkey: All proteins contain amino acids, which help you relax, but turkey specifically has tryptophan, which has a particularly calming effect.
- Salmon: Salmon’s anti-inflammatory properties counteract the effects of stress hormones.
- Dark chocolate: Eating dark chocolate can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Dark chocolate also lowers blood pressure and creates feelings of euphoria!
- Berries: Because they’re packed with vitamin C eating berries calms stress.
- Cashews: A good source of zinc- a natural mood booster.
- Asparagus: Eating asparagus can be calming, due to their folate content.
- Yogurt: The protein and probiotics are helpful for calming you down and controlling anxiety.
Stress eating is something we can all understand, and you won’t catch me bashing comfort food! But if you’re eating to soothe yourself, try the foods that can have the biggest impact on your mood.