6 Foods to Snack on When You’re Stressed
What makes a food calming?
Macaroni cheese the way your mum used to make it is basically a form of emotional anaesthesia, but this is ‘comfort food’ – and there’s a huge difference between comfort food and foods with inherent calming properties.
Stress causes our cortisol levels to rise, which in turn cause food cravings. For many of us, those cravings tend to be strongest for carbs and sweets. And the more we eat of those sweets, the worse our mood becomes, causing even more stress. And even more comfort eating.
So when we talk about calming foods, we don't mean comfort foods – we mean foods that will actually soothe you through their nutrients and energy.
Time to get snacking!
Dark, leafy greens are rich in magnesium, making spinach and kale perfect for relieving stress. Magnesium regulates muscle function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, as well as acting as a natural stress reliever.
A cup of spinach may not sound tempting, but try stirring some leaves through your omelette or baking some kale chips for an easy, healthy snack. There’s a reason green juices are so popular.
You wanted some good news, and here it is! A couple of small pieces of very high-quality dark chocolate will do wonders for stress levels. Besides the healthy antioxidants packed into dark chocolate, there is an undeniable link to mood.
Try a handful of dark chocolate-covered almonds for a stress-relieving snack after dinner.
These tiny seeds contain magnesium and B vitamins, as well as incredibly high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. All these act to lower stress fast. Start your morning with a chia seed ‘pudding’ or stir a few spoonfuls into your smoothie to make sure you’re satisfied until lunch.
Snacking on a small handful of unsalted pistachios can help lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Pistachios have a high healthy fat content, lots of fibre and plenty of antioxidants to keep blood vessels open and relaxed during stressful moments.
More good news! Avocadoes are high in monosaturated fat and potassium, which lower your blood pressure. Monosaturated fat also helps keep receptors in the brain sensitive to serotonin, which can affect mood, appetite, sleep and memory. Whip some avocadoes into a guacamole and serve with some raw carrot sticks. Just the act of crunching is a satisfying stress stopper!
Chamomile tea is mostly associated with going to bed, as the herb is often used for its ability to aid in sleep. But it can improve your health in other ways too – chamomile can reduce symptoms of hay fever and inflammation (after a big weekend, for example) and, because it contains glycine, it is particularly helpful in reducing stress levels. Brew yourself a cup each afternoon and feel the difference in your day.
Reducing stress can be as simple as adding a few delicious snacks to your diet. Of course, there’s an easier way to do just that!
With a Snackwize subscription, expect a bounty of protein balls, kale chips, trail mixes, nuts, beef jerky and more delivered to the door each month (or however frequently suits you). Talk to us now about how Snackwize can help you power through your days.