We are all guilty of it when we are feeling stressed, or anxious. Instead of reaching for healthy food - fruits, vegetables, protein - we instead reach for things that will give us a quick fix. A few sweets, a glass of wine, chips.
Though these things might make us feel better in the moment, after a long day at the office, or after crunching numbers after your bills arrive, these treats can be detrimental to our health. These comfort foods aren’t so comforting after all.
Why? These high-fat foods make us less capable of dealing with stress. They contribute to our blood pressure reaching new highs while also raising our cholesterol levels - two things already affected by stress alone. Add unhealthy food into the mix, and you have a perfect storm for serious health complications.
So what should you be eating? We’ll help you create a quick grocery list.
Vegetables are a great place to start as you build your anti-stress diet. Green leafy vegetables in particular will be prove to be very effective. These vegetables contain folate - a B vitamin - that helps your brain produce dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure-inducing chemical that helps to keep us calm. Add spinach to your list, for starters.
By snacking on fruits, we will get a good dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a stress-fighting antioxident. Snatch up some blueberries to start. Berries like this fight will improve how our body fights stress.
Carb lovers will be pleased to know that carbohydrates can be just the fuel you need to fight stress. Carbohydrates are like vegetables in the fact that they can help our brain produces chemicals that can help us fight straight. Carbohydrates help us produce serotonin. If you’ve heard of it, it’s likely because it is widely known as the drug that makes us feel good, and happy. Stock up on oatmeal, which is a perfect carbohydrate to get your day started off right.
Yogurt is next on the list. Though it sounds unbelievable, the bacteria that live in our gut can actually contribute to how stressed we’re feeling. If you’ve ever had gastrointestinal symptoms during a stressful period, this is why you’ve felt that way. Lucky for us, yogurt helps us kick these bacteria. Studies have revealed that eating yogurt can help you better handle stress. Throw some berries you picked up earlier on the yogurt for a packed, stress-fighting meal.
Now that you have a start to your grocery list, we challenge you to opt out of those chips, candies and fast food temptations next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. Your body will be thanking you.