When you feel tired, sad, stressed, or sluggish, it is tempting to open a bag of potato chips or crack open a bar of chocolate. There seems to be nothing more comforting than these. But did you know that most comfort foods can make you feel worse rather than better?
Putting chocolate sauce on ice cream or a spoonful of mayonnaise on chips, everyone has something they want to eat when unhappy. But while it is tempting to reach for these foods when you feel down, it will only backfire.
The sugar in these treats can cause your blood sugar to spike, giving you new energy and making you feel better for a while. The only problem is that the sugar quickly disappears from the bloodstream, causing a significant drop in energy. As your blood sugar drops, your mood drops as well. Eventually, you will become even tackier and will have to restrain yourself from ransacking the kitchen cabinets.
So what are some good things to eat when you feel tired, stressed, or just “sort of”?
A piece of dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa) is always good for you. Chocolate contains tryptophan. It is an amino acid converted into serotonin, a happy hormone, in the body. Dark chocolate also contains magnesium. It is a stress-relieving mineral that calms and relaxes muscles and blood vessels.
Wholegrain Salmon Sandwiches
It is essential to get enough fiber in your diet when stressed. Whole wheat bread slows down the rise in blood sugar and is rich in fiber, which helps with slow digestion. Salmon contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial brain building blocks, suppressing the production of the stress hormone cortisol and playing a role in the production of serotonin. Did you know that salmon also contains vitamin D? This vitamin is also effective against stress. You can also add a slice of avocado to your sandwich to get your magnesium fixed.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti & meatballs is one of the most popular comfort foods internationally. Pasta in itself is a food that makes you feel good because it tastes like family, like home, and the carbohydrates give it an exceptional satisfaction. But how can we bring this dish closer to a healthy meal? You simply have to use whole wheat pasta with tomatoes and lots of vegetables, in the typical shape of meatballs!
Carrots and Chickpeas With Hummus
Fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium are just a few of the many reasons to eat carrots. Dipping this super vegetable in hummus makes it an even healthier snack. Chickpeas help slow down the rise in blood sugar and are rich in fiber and protein. The combination of carrots and hummus will make you feel hungry in less time. Oven-baked chickpeas are also delicious. They’re a type of cocktail nut, but they’re healthy.
Grilled broccoli doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of comfort food. Now is the time to change that! Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C. This is a vitamin that is consumed more in stressful situations. Broccoli also contains folic acid, an essential vitamin for boosting immunity and resistance to stress. Besides, broccoli also contains magnesium, an anti-stress mineral. To make grilled broccoli a little tastier, you can dip it in homemade yogurt sauce or top it with cheese sauce.
A Handful of Walnuts
When we are stressed, the adrenal glands have to take extra care of themselves. A handful of walnuts is an excellent snack to help stabilize your blood sugar levels and, thus, your mood. In addition, the B vitamins in walnuts help produce serotonin, which helps keep the adrenal glands functioning properly.
Next time you feel blue, try these comfort foods and share your experience with us in the comments below!