What to eat (and what to avoid) when you’re stressed


Dude is hangry.

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We all know what it’s like to go home at the end of a particularly stressful day and collapse onto the couch with ice cream, pizza or other high-fat “comfort” foods. Stress triggers our desire for these foods, which can lead to obesity and long-term health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.  

Although it’s easy to consume foods with low nutritional value when you’re stressed, you’ll actually feel better if you eat things that are — wait for it — good for you. Follow these tips to maintain your healthy diet and help relieve stress.


Cut back on sugar

Sugar causes your blood sugar levels to spike, which then results in severe energy dips. So, try to leave the Oreos on the shelf.


Load up on B vitamins and folate

Found naturally in many foods, B vitamins and folic acid help stabilize your mood and reduce the effects of stress. Foods high in folic acid include bell peppers, lentils, spinach and many types of beans. B vitamins can be found in sunflower seeds, beef, tuna and almonds, among others.


Avoid stimulants

Caffeine can cause anxiety, and the sugar found in alcohol prevents the body’s adrenal glands from protecting us from stress. 


Get more vitamin C

Vitamin C fights free radicals in your body, which are produced by stress and can lead to cancer. Hit up the produce section for vitamin C-rich oranges, papaya, pineapple, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.


Got milk?

Milk and cottage cheese are high in protein and calcium, so you’ll feel full longer. Pair them with healthy cereal and antioxidant-rich blueberries for a nutritional breakfast.