Yes, the doctor might tell you to avoid stress-eating if you're trying to lose weight and watch what you eat, but there are some benefits of eating when you are stressed. The key is to eat the right stuff. More specifically, food that helps you fight stress. As always, quantity and moderation is key and with these foods that drive the stress blues away, a little usually goes a long way!
So those chocolate cravings when you're under stress were not all imagined. Research shows that people who regularly consumed a little bit of dark chocolate possessed lower levels of cortisol – the stress hormone.
Spinach, methi, amaranth and the whole family of leafy greens is abundant in magnesium, a crucial mineral in the smooth functioning of the body. By calming nerves and relaxing muscles, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and the key stress-fighter.
The amino acids called theanine as well as antioxidants called flavonoids, present in green tea are well-established stress-fighters that induce a calming feeling and promote good-sleep. A cup of green tea right before bed is an excellent habit to make.
The myth that warm milk makes you drowsy or sleep better has been busted, but the truth is while a glass of milk may not put you to bed, it definitely has a calming effect on your moods. Tryptophan, contained in milk, when released into the brain, activates production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is known to produce feelings of peace and serenity.
A strong dose of vitamin C is known to help allay stress rather effectively, and immediately. Both blood pressure and cortisol levels were seen to reduce faster when stressed individuals consumed an orange or any other source of concentrated vitamin C.
So the next time you're feeling stressed and you want to reach for that family pack of ice-cream, sugary cookies, or cheesy pizza, look this list up and fight your stress with food!