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December 14, 2017 06:14 PM

Less Stress With Healthy Meals

Sioux Falls, SD

For some, relieving stress means turning to their favorite comfort foods, which aren't always the healthiest.

And while treating yourself may seem stress relieving, you may actually be adding to your stress. Eating a good diet is one way to keep a healthy body weight, but that's not all that making good choices can do for you. 

"I definitely feel better. I feel healthier, I stay fuller longer," Kaylee Karsky said.

Karsky says she avoids processed foods and unhealthy snacks.  She says it makes her feel better all around. 

"It helps me, like I said stay fuller longer so I'm able to stay focused on work and school," Karsky said.

While work and school can get stressful, Karsky says her healthy diet makes it easier to get things done. 

But not everyone reaches for a healthy snack during a stressful time. During times of stress it may be easy to turn to comfort food, but you'll actually feel worse after eating it.

These foods are commonly full of sugar and caffeine, causing your blood sugar levels to rise, inducing stress. 

"Maybe some oatmeal, and then put some walnuts in it for those omega three's, and then maybe some fresh fruit like kiwi that has some vitamin C in there," Registered dietitian Anna Heronimus said.

Complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal can help the brain make serotonin, the same substance regulated by antidepressants.

"You've got to think about if you're eating because your stressed because of work, or your kids, or financial issues. You want to more focus on mindful eating, so having healthier snacks around," Heronimus said. 

Not only will your mind feel clearer, your body will feel better too. 

"Sometimes when we're mindlessly eating when we're stressed, we don't actually know what we're choosing for food and we just want something in our belly's to keep us away from those stressful issues," Heronimus said. 

So the next time you have a long day, grab a healthy snack to prevent stress from building up. 

If you're interested in speaking with a dietitian, click here.

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