It goes something like this: When challenges mount and life becomes stressful, many of us start eating in order to curb our stress, even if we’re not actually hungry and our bodies don’t necessarily need food.
Unfortunately, the foods we turn to during hours of stress tend to be unhealthy ones—foods that are high in sugar, fat, or salt. As such, it goes without saying that stress eating can be damaging to our overall health.
With that said, the idea is not totally wrong: Eating can help you minimize stress—so long as you eat the right kinds of food. The question is what are some healthy snack items that come with stress-busting properties?
Here are a few suggestions for you as you rethink your comfort foods.
Green, leafy vegetables: Believe it or not, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens help the body in its production of dopamine, which in turn produces feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Turkey breast: Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that’s known to cause drowsiness; in actuality, it also regulates happiness, controls the appetite, and helps you feel calmer and more peaceful, which may be exactly what you need in a stressful situation.
Avocado: This food, rich in healthy fats, prevents the oxidative damage caused by stress, and helps you feel full and satisfied!
Oatmeal: Complex carbs, like this one, can help the brain produce serotonin, which in turn regulates depression.
Berries: Berries are rich in antioxidants, which are linked to all manner of physical and mental health benefits.
All of these foods are healthy alternatives to potato chips, donuts, and candy bars—and all of them will help you keep your stress levels in check. Start snacking a little bit smarter today!