5 Snacks For When You’re Feeling Stressed
When you’re feeling stressed or down, it’s easy to turn to food as a comfort. We’ve all been guilty of forgoing that work-out and sitting in with a glass of wine or cookie instead on days when it all feels too much! But did you know, that snacking on the right foods can actually help diminish our stress levels, balance our mood and make us feel 10 times better?!
Here at Organica, we’ve researched the top 5 stress-busting snacks you need to reach for the next time you’re feeling the strain.
1. Oatmeal with Cinnamon & Honey
A hot, comforting bowl of oats is the carby-cuddle we need when we’re feeling stressed, but these little staples are actually full of serotonin, our feel-good hormone, too! Pair that with its rich fiber content, oats also help to maintain a stable blood sugar level, keeping our mood from peaking and dipping. Cinnamon and honey can satisfy a sweet tooth, but also help boost our immunity and act as an anti-inflammatory if you’re prone to stress-related digestive issues.
2. Dark Chocolate
It’s not just something you see in chick-flicks; chocolate actually does help you feel better! A 2009 study suggested that eating dark chocolate (with a % of more than 70%) reduces levels of our stress hormone (cortisol) and increases the production of endorphins. Dark chocolate has also been linked to reducing blood pressure and lowering rates of depression thanks to its levels of antioxidants called polyphenols.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Packed full of healthy fats and essential amino acids, a combo of pistachios, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds makes the ideal powerhouse snack for when you’re feeling low. Selenium in cashews and almonds has been shown to boost your mood, while the tryptophan in pumpkin seeds can help the brain produce serotonin. The magnesium in nuts also plays a significant role in stabilizing energy, as well as regulating ur nervous system, all resulting in lowered stress levels.
4. Greek Yogurt & Berries
Low-fat Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein, which both elevate energy levels and are essential for your body to release feel-good neurotransmitters. Yogurt is also an incredible pro-biotic and source of potassium, which helps restore the balance of gut bacteria – which has now been linked to mental health and stress levels, as well as physical digestive health. Adding fresh berries means a dose of stress-busting antioxidants, too, and provides a calming effect while satisfying our taste buds!
5. Carrots & Guacamole
Creamy guacamole is the ideal source of mono-saturated fats and potassium, which have been proven to lower blood pressure and keep the hormone receptors in our brain sensitive to serotonin (the happy hormone). The carrots add a satisfying crunch, which has also been linked to reducing stress! Just make sure you don't overeat the guac - avocados are high in fats and calories so stick to a measured amount.
Before reaching for high-sugar, high-fat and overly processed snacks when you’re feeling stressed, why not stock up on a few of these ideas instead? Not only will they help you to feel calmer, happier and more satisfied, but they'll also help keep your waistline in-check, too! Comfort eating when you’re stressed is extremely hard to avoid, so swat-up on the best way to do it, and you’ll start feeling better almost immediately.
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