When we’re stressed we often turn to diet-busting goodies for comfort. Instead of soothing our frayed nerves, many of them ultimately make us feel worse.
Why? After the initial rush, the body’s insulin response kicks in, causing a sudden blood-sugar drop that triggers the release of stress hormones. Soon you’re feeling more jangled than you were before you wolfed down those sweet desserts.
#1. Berries, Any Berries
For those tough times when tension tightens your jaw, try rolling a frozen berry around in your mouth, one by one. Since the carbs in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won’t have a blood-sugar crash.
Avocados are loaded with B vitamins, which stress quickly depletes and which your body needs in order to maintain nerves and brain cells. Great for creamy cravings (and it’s healthy fat)!
#3. Mixed Nuts
Just an ounce will do. Walnuts help replace stress-depleted B vitamins, Brazil nuts have loads of zinc (which gets drained by high anxiety), and almonds boost your E, which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress.
They’re a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight a jump in cortisol, a stress hormone. People who take 1,000 milligrams of C before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressures than those who don’t.
Each tender stalk is a source of folic acid, a natural mood lightener. For a hit of calcium with each bite, dip the spears in fat-free yogurt or sour cream.
#6. Chai Tea
A warm drink is a supersoother, and curling up with a cup of aromatic decaf chai tea can make the whole evil day go away.
#7. Dark chocolate
When only chocolate will do, reach for the dark, sultry kind that’s at least 70% cocoa. If the antioxidant flavonoids in it are potent enough to fight cancer and heart disease, then surely they can temper tension’s effects.