When we are feeling down, stressed, or tired, we often turn to food as a quick fix. This is not necessarily a bad choice, unless, of course, you're eating the wrong thing. In various situations there are foods that can help you feel better, while there are others that will make you feel worse. Here’s a short list of foods you should and shouldn’t be eating according to how you are feeling.
When you feel stressed, grabbing a can of soda may feel like the perfect way to relax. However, studies have shown that people who drink two or more cans of soda per day are more likely to be depressed and anxious. In addition, most sodas contain a lot of sugar and other chemicals, most of which are not at all healthy. Do yourself a favor and grab a low-fat yogurt and add a handful of nuts for a truly relaxing snack. The lysine, amino acids, and arginine, found in yogurt, reduce levels of anxiety and stress in the body.
It’s no shame to feel depressed, and many people experience depression at some point in their life. When feeling depressed, a lot of people turn to sweet snacks, which can lead to obesity. If you are craving white chocolate, stop and grab a bar of dark chocolate instead (70% or higher is best). The cocoa in the chocolate contains a chemical that induces euphoria, but white chocolate contains none. So if you want to turn that frown upside down, eat dark chocolate.
Soup sounds like a great alternative to eating solid foods, and it often feels less “heavy” on the stomach. However, unless you’re making that soup yourself, best stay away from canned soups and opt for something more nutritious. Many canned soups are filled with high quantities of sodium, which may cause you to retain its liquids. The excess liquids in your stomach will make you feel heavier and possibly nauseous. So make yourself a lean meal of grilled chicken breast instead. It’s full of proteins that serve as an energy boost, and will help your muscles grow, as well as burn more calories and fat in the long run.
Nothing feels more like an effective booster when you’re tired than a big cup of coffee. But what you might not know is that your Frappuccino is filled with 61 grams of sugar, which will cause a serious spike in your glycemic index and lead to an even worse crash later on. If you want an energy boost, eat some Trail Mix, containing potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients that will keep you more alert and awake for longer.
We all know that if we want to sleep, we should drink a cup of warm milk, right? This popular remedy is actually the worst thing you can drink before going to bed. The protein in the milk increases your alertness, and the fat in the milk slows down your metabolism, which disrupts your sleep. If you want to have a good night’s sleep, grab a small bowl of popcorn instead. The carbohydrates in the popcorn cause the brain to secrete serotonin – a chemical that relaxes your brain. Oh, and forget the butter, the fat found in it will also ruin your sleep.