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Mar 14 2017
by Lee Musho

Seven Food Warriors That Help Combat Stress

By Lee Musho - Mar 14 2017

It’s midterms, which means you’re probably ordering takeout at three in the morning while weeping over the study guide that you’ve been working on for ten hours and still haven't finished. A ton of people eat when they are stressed. Every time midterms and finals come around, I find myself anxiously going through bags and bags of popcorn while staring at the list of things I have to do to pass a class. Stress-eating is something we all do, especially during midterms. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid stress altogether. However, we can choose snacks that chemically combat stress. I’ve researched the warriors of the food world who can help you win your battle against stress, and all you have to do is eat them.

1. Avocados 

Avocados are known for having calming effects. No wonder why you’ve been non-stop thinking about Chipotle!

2. Sugary Foods

These decrease levels of anxiety-producing hormones and work as a sedative for the brain. Now you have an excuse to have some more ice cream. You’re welcome.

3. Complex Carbohydrate-Rich Foods 

These foods raise serotonin levels and work to naturally relax you, so go heavy on the carbs, but make sure they aren’t so refined that they’re white! Go for whole grains like quinoa, oatmeal or plain-old whole wheat bread.

4. Nuts 

Nuts have magnesium which also helps with stress! They help your body make serotonin, which makes you happy. Make yourself a peanut butter sandwich on some whole wheat bread — you’ll calm down in no time.

5. Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or more) is the most endorphin-producing food on earth. It also has a chemical called anandamide, which mimics marijuana’s effects on the brain. This is your chance to legally de-stress!

6. Berries And Citrus

Berries and citrus, rich in vitamin C, help combat stress with their antioxidants. Grab yourself some fresh fruit and throw those chips away!

7. Warm Drinks 

Any kind of warm drink, whether it’s tea or hot cocoa, raises your body temperature. Scientists have found that we associate hot drinks with comfort and our brains respond accordingly, so we naturally calm down when drinking them.

The next time you’re itching to munch your worries away, choose a snack that will actually do the job!

Lead Image Credit: Jannis Brandt via Unsplash

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Lee Musho - Syracuse University

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