munch your blues away

Emotional eating is an enemy! Or is it? Experts will tell you that eating your stress is a one-way street to poor nutrition, even poorer body image, and ultimately more stress.  But it isn’t the habit that can break you – it’s the “what”, “when” and “how much” that count. So the next time the blues are getting the better of you, forget that you have a tub of Ben and Jerry’s waiting for you in the freezer, or a big box of candy from last Valentine’s day. If you want to eat your stress, do it in style with these feel-good, super healthy munchies:

Go nuts.

Are you beating a deadline? Is your boss breathing down your neck? Stuck in a mental rut? Grab a few mouthfuls of almonds or walnuts. Nuts are a brain-booster, and they certainly do their magic when the brain needs to go that extra mile to withstand stress. Almonds are also great weight-loss foods, because they prevent hunger pangs. Walnuts are proven to lower blood pressure, which shoots up when you’re stressed.

 Choose your chocolates.

 Milk chocolates give you the sweetness you need when things are sour, but they also add inches to your thighs. Dark chocolates, on the other hand, are rich in flavonoids, a substance known for its relaxing abilities. Aside from this, dark chocolates have a higher concentration of phenethylamine, which boosts brain activity such as concentration, thought process and multi-tasking. If you aren’t sure which chocolate to pick up, go for ones that have at least 70 % cacao.

 Perfect PMS food: Eggs and turkey.

If that time of the month is giving you the grumpies, fix yourself a sandwich instead of opening a bag of chips. Your crankiness is believed to be brought about by an increased need of the body of carbohydrates, and you need to give in to this so that your serotonin (feel-good hormones) can level up. However, the quality of carbohydrates you take in is important. Empty calories only create more damage. They get you on a high, and drop you like hot tamale. So, when your hormones are making you Incredible Hulk, pick up some whole-wheat bread, low-fat cheese, a slice of lean turkey, some eggs, and make a sandwich.

 Get rid of the Grrrrr… with green tea.

 There are days when we just want to kick someone. That may be your annoying colleague at work, or your neighbor who kept you up by playing the sax. You know kicking and screaming won’t get you anywhere, so take a step back and sip on some green tea. Green tea contains thiamine, a substance that helps you refocus and improve concentration. It is loaded with anti-oxidants, and won’t get you all hyped up like your cup of coffee would.

 Regain strength with a spinach Salad.

 For those days when you are simply not in your element, when your body needs a boost of energy and strength, stay away from the coffee vending machine. Have a spinach salad. The crunch will help restore your body’s vitality because of its folate content. Spinach also lowers homocysteine levels, substances which are behind sluggish mental processes. What to eat your salad with? Try beans, whole wheat breads, mushrooms and potatoes. 

 Apples dipped in peanut butter – yum.

When you are stressed, your body craves for carbohydrates, and that’s why you’re most likely to pick up anything sweet. You know where all that goes, so the next time your sweet tooth bothers you, try slicing some apples and dipping them in peanut butter. Apples are a great source of vitamins and complex carbohydrates and peanut butter is a yummy, healthy fat treat. This combo curbs hunger pangs, and keeps you feeling good for hours.