If you’re an emotional eater, chances are that whenever tragedy strikes, you probably go running to seek comfort in ice creams, desserts and cookies, pizzas, burgers, etc — basically foods that are loaded with sugar and fat. However, you know that no matter how much a soothing effect these foods have on your emotions, they aren’t really great for your waistline. But still you gorge on them in times of despair and get racked with guilt later. We give you a list of healthy foods…

Walnuts and almonds are the healthiest of all nuts. Nuts are fortified with the B group of vitamins, magnesium, zinc and omega oils that helps to keep cortisol (a stress hormone) levels low. Also, they are a good source of energy, balance out sugar cravings and aids metabolism. The monounsaturated fats present in nuts help in curbing overeating. But there’s no need to go overboard with nuts as they have high calories. Stick to a handful; say about 10-12 nuts daily.

Broccoli is considered as one of nature’s superfoods. It’s rich in folic acid that helps in reducing stress and irritability. But if you’re still averse to eating steamed or stir-fried broccoli, then eat it with a low-fat version of your favourite dressing.

If you’re a seafood lover, then you’ll definitely relish this option. Oily fish (including mackerel and anchovies) but especially salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in optimum functioning of the brain. Low levels of omega-3 have been associated with poor blood and energy regulation linked with stress. This in turn, helps you to deal with stress effectively.

Drinking a glass of milk can boost your mood because it contains a compound called tryptophan, which gets converted to serotonin, also known as the happy hormone. Also, the magnesium, potassium and calcium content in milk help keep blood pressure in control. Lactium, a protein in milk has a calming effect on the body. Also, drinking milk reduces symptoms of PMS and boosts energy.

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Hot cocoa
Having warm beverages tend to raise the temperature in the body by a few notches. And the feeling of warmth that we derive from a slight raise in temperature, which we often associate with comfort, triggers a similar response in the brain

Chamomile/Green/black tea Theanine, an amino and glutamic acid found in tea, reduces tension producing beta waves and accelerates the production of relaxation inducing alpha waves in the brain. A UK study found that having four cups of black tea daily for about six weeks lowers cortisol levels. Having chamomile tea is known to have a calming effect and is great for aiding good sleep.

Did you know?
The antioxidants present in green tea aid curbing physiological stress and also a genetic tendency towards stress called COMT gene.

Take your pick from a variety of berries like strawberries, raspberries and mulberries. Berries have abundant antioxidant properties that support brain function and blood circulation. Raspberries are said to contain the most amount of ellagic acid that improves liver functions, regulating cholesterol levels and eliminating toxins. Since berries are sweet, they are the healthiest choices to satisfy your sugar cravings.

Beetroots This colourful tuber is a great source of folate also known as vitamin B9. This vitamin promotes functioning of the liver and the nervous system, which usually gets congested under chronic stress.

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