Are you one of those who reach out for a piece of cake, or chocolate when stressed? Stop comfort eating as it will not help change the situation. Instead, try to include the below-mentioned nutrient-rich foods.
Why do we crave to eat sweet foods when experiencing stress?
Our body releases glucocorticoids, and they promote sugar cravings in-order to replenish the energy supply lost during the stressful encounter. As a result, you get hungry quickly and end up eating refined carbs, fatty and sweet foods or beverages.
Reduce stress with these nutrients
- B- Vitamins
It helps reduce stress and boost mood. B- complex vitamin supplements may help improve symptoms of depression or anxiety.
It is important for your nervous system and relays messages between your brain and body. Also, helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals.
It is the key player to fight depression, relieve stress and maintain fluid homeostasis.
Helps contract and relax your muscles well.
- MUFAs and PUFAs
These are referred to as healthy fats as they protect your heart.
- Antioxidants -Vitamin A,C, E
They work to combat neuroinflammation caused by free radical damage, which is a precursor to neurodegenerative diseases.
- Tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine
These are the biosynthetic precursors for the important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine respectively.
Foods for mood
- Whole grains, yoghurt for B vitamins
- Bananas, coconut water for potassium
- Swiss chard, almonds for magnesium
- Fatty fish, walnuts for a good fat
- Green leafy vegetables, red and yellow coloured vegetables for carotene.
- Amla, citrus fruits for vitamin C
- Wheat germ, almonds, peanut butter for vitamin E.
- Tea - soothing cup of your favourite tea blend or enjoy having any drink with natural cocoa.
- Include combinations like protein with complex carbohydrates Eg. eggs with a toast, dal-rice. It helps tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier.
It is important to handle stress in a positive way, or else chronic stress levels might lead to depression.
- Firk, C., & Markus, C. R. (2007). Review: Serotonin by stress interaction: a susceptibility factor for the development of depression?. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 21(5), 538–544. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881106075588
- Singh, K. (2016). Nutrient and Stress Management. Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, 6, 1-6.
- Thakur M, Pandey A and Jain SC. 2012. Good mood foods: A panacea of life. Indian Food Industry 31: 45-52.