Do you eat when you’re stressed? Do certain foods you eat stress you out even more? Read this first, then consider finding foods that won’t stress you out on your own.
This article was first posted in my BCBS’s newsletter
Finding Foods that Won’t Stress You Out
Stress can lead to emotional eating. Anger, anxiety and even boredom can lead to overeating. Some people also use food as a reward to get them through a stressful situation. And when stressed, many people choose foods that are lower in nutritional value.
Learning to not give in to mindless eating may help you halt overeating and other unhealthy eating habits. If you know you’re a stress eater, keep your kitchen stocked with healthy snacks so you’ll be less tempted by unhealthy comfort foods.
In times of stress, certain foods may make you feel worse. For example, caffeine and alcohol can give your body and mind real highs and lows. And those sugary snacks you crave can cause your blood sugar to spike and then fall quickly, causing your energy level to go down.
Consider banning these during stressful times:
- Caffeinated beverages:
Caffeine can cause anxiety and raise stress hormone levels and may
interrupt your ability to sleep. If you feel you need some daily
caffeine, consider switching to green tea.
- Sugar: Sugar causes rises in blood sugar levels, which can rob your adrenal glands of the ability to control stress hormones.
- Alcohol: Alcohol adds more sugar to your diet and also can be harmful to the adrenal gland.
Consider having these instead:
Eating the right foods can help give you the nutrients your stressed-out body and mind need to feel better. Try these five stress-busting choices:
- Milk: Milk is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12, as well as
protein and calcium. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk
in the morning to keep your energy up and running.
- Cottage Cheese and Fruit: Cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium. Pair it with a fruit high in vitamin C, like oranges, for added benefits.
- Almonds: Try crunching on almonds to relieve some tension. Almonds are a good source of vitamins B2 and E, magnesium, and zinc. Although they’re high in fat, most of the fat is unsaturated.
- Blueberries: An antioxidant powerhouse, blueberries offer a High-fiber, low-calorie choice that is also rich in stress-fighting vitamin C.
- Tuna: A good lunch partner, tuna is high in stress-fighting vitamins B6 and B12 and is a good low-fat protein source.
Getting active is just as important as finding foods that won’t stress you out. Physical activity, such as a brisk walk, can also work wonders in changing your mood and reducing stress.