stress eating

When under stress, many people resort to emotional eating. What said people do not understand is that doing so won’t make their problems disappear. In fact, they are doing more harm than good.

If you continue eating unhealthy foods, especially when under stress, it will take a toll on your waistline. To prevent this from happening, and to stay mentally sound, here are some foods you should eat instead.

1. Kale Chips

The best thing about kale chips is you can make them at home. All you need is kale, olive oil, and salt.

Rather than eating fat, you will feel satisfied if you indulge in kale chips with olive oil. You will also enjoy a boost in serotonin, largely in part due to the ingredients.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health research, kale guarantees higher levels of carotenoids; an antioxidant that will keep you fit as a fiddle.

2. Nuts and Seeds

You can always get your share of unsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber by consuming a powerful combination of cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and pistachios. Why do you ask? Because these nuts and seeds will ensure you have a lower blood pressure.

Upon closer inspection, you will come to realize walnuts are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce depression. Pistachios negate the effects of anxiety, cashews and almonds offer selenium for mood elevation. Last, tryptophan from pumpkin seeds triggers the brain to create more serotonin.

3. Sweet Potatoes

The best part about sweet potatoes is that they are packed with nutrients while being delicious and sweet. But that is not all as they come packed with fiber and carotenoids to make you optimistic like never before.

Basically, you will get the blood sugar spike with a sweet sensation, without sacrificing too much from your diet.

4. Green Tea

Due to the amino acid L-theanine found in green tea, you will find it easier to remain calm under pressure. Green tea also comes with caffeine, meaning you will be more focused on the task at hand. Remember, a cup of green tea can help you manage whatever task or problem comes your way.

5. Wine

Believe it or not, wine serves as an anti-depressant. If consumed properly, you will have a lower blood pressure, and you won’t be affected by stressors inside and out. As long as you stick to having one glass by taking small sips, you will enjoy an influx of antioxidants in your system.

6. Yogurt and Berries

If you are craving for something creamy, you can get that and so much more with low-fat Greek yogurt. The yogurt serves as an excellent source of calcium and protein, required by the body to release the neurotransmitters to stay fresh and happy. For more flavor, and a boost of vitamin C, you can also have fresh berries with yogurt.

7. Smoothies

To enrich your diet, you can mix soymilk with guava, banana and cocoa powder for the ultimate caffeine fix. Due to the folate found within, it will boost serotonin levels. Dopamine and potassium help lower blood pressure due to ingredients like the ripe banana and unsweetened cocoa powder.

8. Dark Chocolate with Almonds

Fortunately for you, there is no need to get rid of chocolate from your diet. According to a study conducted by Swiss researchers in 2009, dark chocolate can do wonders for you in terms of management of stress hormones. Furthermore, it also lowers blood pressure just as good as any other drug available out there. With almonds and dark chocolate, you will feel more energetic.

9. Oatmeal with Honey and Cinnamon

If you have a hot bowl of oats every day, you will get all the carbs you need to increase the level of serotonin in your body. And due to the slow-to-digest fiber, you won’t have to worry about it affecting your blood sugar levels like other foods normally do.

When having oatmeal for breakfast, consider adding a teaspoon of honey and cinnamon to boost your immune system; just make sure you buy the best oatmeal out there though.

10. Vegetable Curry

If you cozy up to Indian food, you will benefit in more ways than you can imagine. First, the molecule in chili peppers, capsaicin triggers the release of endorphins to keep you calm. Second, the curry itself protects parts of the brain most prone to the effects of stress. To turn things up a notch, add spinach for magnesium, and watch the magic happen as you get rid of headaches for good.

That fact you may have to change your diet can frighten many, but it has more benefits than drawbacks. You cannot eat anything and everything like you did before, but it is for your own good in the long run.

Even though you may not be a fan of most foods that offer the benefits mentioned above, there are still plenty of foods that will appeal to you.

Remember, not all foods are calming as there is a huge difference in tapping into a food’s calming properties and using it as a means of emotional anesthesia. The eating you normally resort to during stress i.e. mindless eating may offer a temporary solution, but it will ruin your health in the long run. If you think about it, you will gain nothing, except for a few additional pounds maybe.

Stressful events, big or small, cause cortisol levels to rise, which causes food cravings. This can lead to cravings for foods high in carbs. Apart from affecting the mood, foods high in carbs can lead to obesity. Don’t shy away from seeking professional help if needed. The good news is that you can contact licensed nutritionists and dieticians using a HIPAA compliant telemedicine app. This means you no longer need to visit the healthcare facility.

Seeing how dangerous stress and foods high in carbs can be, it is imperative you focus on foods that reduce stress levels, boost the immune system and alleviate your mood instead.

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Rachael Everly
Rachael Everly is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on women's healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @RachaelEverly for more updates.