Food

The 5 Best Snacks to Eat When You're Stressed

STRESS.

What a loaded word. There's work stress, relationship stress, family stress... more often than not we're all dealing with some form.

Your relationship with food, and what you put in your body becomes even MORE important during times of stress. Some people overeat when they're stressed. Others don't eat enough, and reach for too much caffeine, or a quick sugar fix from candy or other sweets.

In college my reaction to stress used to be waiting way too long to eat, skipping a meal and then ultimately becoming ravenous and overeating simple carbs (like crackers or chips) the next time I did eat.

I was setting myself up for feeling even worst.

If you're already stressed it's not difficult to compound that effect by choosing foods that make us feel crappy.

When I studied nutrition I learned that certain foods truly can help calm us during times of stress. The gut microbiome directly influences the brain - and it can be supported by consuming foods high in fiber that actually satisfy us. So why wouldn't we take advantage of foods that help us feel better?

Healthy, stress-busting snacks are key. Especially when life is a little crazier, and we're short on time and patience. These 5 snacks are some of the best things you can put in your body.

5 Snacks to Eat When You're Stressed

  1. Nuts like pistachios. Nuts are full of nutrients, and magnesium - which has been linked to anxiety management, and feeling calmer. Pistachios, in particular, have been shown to play a role in reducing stress.
  2. Bell peppers, carrots and hummus. Red bell peppers are high in both polyphenols and carotenoids - two stress fighters. Peppers and/or carrots also provide that satisfying crunch that can help reduce feelings of anxiousness. Paired with a creamy plant based protein like hummus this combo satisfies that "snacky" feeling.
  3. Citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, and grapefruit. Vitamin C is a go-to stress buster. One double-blind study, published January 2015 in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, reported that vitamin C reduced stress levels in participants taking 500 mg per day, and also pointed to it playing a role in anxiety prevention. I like getting my vitamin C through food, but definitely consult your Dr. and take a supplement if you're low.
  4. Non-GMO Popcorn. This is definitely one of my favorites when I want to eat something with volume that sort of feels like a "fun" food.  One ounce of popcorn typically has about 3.5 - 4 grams of fiber so it helps fill you up , and could prevent you from reaching for greasy chips when you're stressed.
  5. Quality dark chocolate. Yes, it's true ;0 Dark chocolate is a win-win because it reduces stress through both a chemical, and emotional impact. Most women want sweets when they're stressed it's just all about choosing the kind that's best for you. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which can help reduce stress hormones in the body.

My absolute favorite chocolate is Hu Dark Chocolate. There's no weird ingredients, and it tastes amazing. Lately I'm loving the Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa and the Cashew Butter. Use code MODERNWELLNESS for 10% off on their site ! (Buy a bundle, I promise you won't regret it!)

Need more stress relief?

Check out 5 affordable ways to practice self care.

How to improve your evening routine, and wind down.

Why intention matters, and how to practice it to feel CALMER.


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