It’s that time of year again…FINAL SEASON! We all know what that means…stress eating. But why do we stress eat? Glad you asked. We CRAVE cortisol! What the heck is that? Cortisol is our stress hormone. When we are feeling stressed to the max enormous amounts of cortisol rushes through our body. Because of this hormone we tend to crave sweet and salty foods. Another reason why we stress eat is because it distracts us. Whenever we feel uncomfortable people tend to eat to suppress those emotions. Eating is also a means of social support. Who doesn’t go on coffee dates with friends to vent about classes, professors, and daily gossip? However, there are many strategies to fight and overcome those unhealthy cravings.
- Eat foods with plenty of folic acid and B vitamins. Folic acid and B vitamins help regulate our moods. Prep a bag of veggies before heading off to the library to snack on!
- Crunchy foods always hit the spot when we are stress. Have a handful of almonds, and crunch away! Almonds contain plenty of B2 and E vitamins, magnesium, and zinc which are known to fight those free radicals that are associated with stress.
- Grab a banana on the go! The potassium and B vitamins fight those stress hormones!
- Have a cereal bar. The sweetness from the fruit and the salty from the cereal is a good combo to satiate our sweet and salty cravings.
- Indulge! Get a nonfat decafe latte from Starbucks. You’ll still get some energy from the cup, and the walk will give you a good break from studying to clear your mind!
So get out there! Fight those unhealthy cravings, your stomach, mind, and body will thank you in the end. With that said happy studying!
By Katie Salmon, Nutrition Major, Member of NEPA