Stress eating is something every one of us experience in our lives.
We all have that guilty snack or beverage we just have to have after a rough day.
Maybe you’ve been buried in a mountain of paperwork, maybe you’ve been on hold all day trying to pay your electric bill, and the man still shuts off your power. Maybe you’ve been chasing your 5 youngsters around the whole house for 10 hours because it’s been storming all day outside and you think you might not survive the night.
Our lives are filled with stressful circumstances, and most of the time we will unconsciously turn to unhealthy food, alcohol and even, I shudder to say . . .smoking ugh. We crave these nasty things because stressful circumstances causes the stress hormone cortisol to rise, which in turn triggers cravings for greasy, sweet, and salty foods. The horrible thing about this is that indulging in those foods only cause our cortisol level to rise.
It’s a crappy deal, but It’s a habit that’s been years in the making for a lot of us, but what if I told you there was a right way to stress eat? And what I’m talking about here is eating food that are packed with the nutrients your body needs to naturally lift your mood.
Yes sir, there are foods that are healthy and relieve stress better than you’re McDonald’s burger, I guarantee it! Oh, and would you look at that, they also happen to be super foods. Read my blog What The Heck Makes Super Foods Super for more info on super foods.
So, the next time you feel like ripping your hair out or jumping off a cliff, use a razor instead of ripping so ensure an even cut, and make sure the cliff has enough water under it. . . but before you do any of that, try these stress battling super foods on for size!
Grass fed beef: That’s right folks, you don’t have to go without a burger after all. Grass fed beef is higher in antioxidants, lower in fat, and up to four times higher in omega-3 fatty acids. There are also no added hormones or other drugs that are usually pumped into grain fed cows. According to several studies, eating this kind of beef is linked to lower rates of depression. It’s a win win for meat lovers who also want to be healthy. Just make sure you don’t slather that burger in fatty sauces and pair it with a whole wheat bun!
Blueberries: These little blue nuggets have high levels of an antioxidant called anthocyanin, and they have been linked to all sorts of positive health outcomes. However all the coolest berries have high levels of vitamin C, so if you don’t like blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are here to save the day. Vitamin C has shown time and time again to be helpful in combating stress by lowering blood pressure.
Chamomile tea: For some reason this drink has the reputation of being specifically reserved for grandparents. But I assure you, young people can drink it too! If you have trouble relaxing after a long day, reach for a cup of this instead of a beer. Research has shown that this drink promotes sleep and soothes anxiety. Just give it a chance and you will see what I’m talking about.
Pistachios: In a nutshell. ( pause for laughter) Research has shown that eating two or more servings of pistachios a day lowers vascular constriction during stress, this means the load on your heart is less severe because your arteries are more dilated. They also help lower blood pressure. It’s a perk that shelling pistachios has a rather therapeutic rhythm to it as well.
Dark Chocolate: Here it is, the one you’ve all been waiting for. Besides being chock full of antioxidants, this treat is linked heavily to an increase in mood. That is because chocolate produces this compound called anandamide, which is a neurotransmitter that blocks feelings of depression. Chocolate also has other chemicals that prolong the effects of anandamide. Now, this is dangerous information to some. This doesn’t mean that you should eat a bar every single day, but allowing yourself a bar once a week or so will improve your mood and give you a great antioxidant boost.
Try eating these foods before you indulge in whatever you’re craving after a stressful day. I guarantee you, you will feel more satisfied and calmer than ever. So go eat these delicious foods and soak up some vitamin D from the summer sunshine!