The next time you’re feeling upset or stressed, you don’t have to reach for the junk food. In fact, you shouldn’t. Sure, the sugar is soothing, or numbing depending on how you look at it, but eventually the high wears off and you’re back down and out where you started. But, emotional eating doesn’t have to be a bad habit. Food can change your mood, so why not let it change yours for the better? Whether you’re looking to get over the midday slump at work, get more energy or de-stress after a long day, these four foods are a healthier way to snack and feel good about it.
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1. Blueberries: The Focus Finder
Blueberries are not only tasty, but they are a proven brain food thanks to the flavonoid compounds that increase oxygen flow to the brain and improve alertness. According to findings from a University of Reading study, people did better on member and concentration tests five hours after drinking a blueberry smoothie than those who drank the berry-less mix.
2. Walnuts: The Stress Buster
The secret to keeping calm under stress just may be a handful of walnuts. Participants in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition who were asked to give a speech. The group that ate walnuts (or consumed walnut oil) every day for six weeks had blood pressures 2 to 3 points lower than those who didn’t have walnuts. Walnuts are rich in omega-3, fiber and antioxidants that can help curb vascular reactions to stress.