What Do You Eat When You’re Stressed?

What Do You Eat When You’re Stressed?

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Ariel Knutson
Feb 27, 2017

When times are tough and stress is high, there are a number of things people rely on to relieve the tension. And it's always nice to have an arsenal of things you can go to instead of just one. For some that means meditation or yoga, for others it might mean going for a run or taking a hot shower. But there's one thing I imagine many of us do: lean on food for a little comfort.

Different stressful situations may elicit different types of comfort food, but I'm curious to know if there is a thread among our readers of similar foods or recipes they rely on no matter the situation. Care to share what you eat (or drink)?

I think the easy answer to "What do you eat when you're stressed?" is basically anything that's in front of you because sometimes you need relief immediately, and food seems like an easy way to fill that gap. Sometimes easy is the best answer. But there is a difference, I believe, in foods that will actually make you feel better versus food that provide some kind of temporary relief.

If given the option between three things — let's say soup, ice cream, or steak — which one would you want to chow down on when you're anxious or stressed? Is there a specific reason for that choice?

(Image credit: Guy Ambrosino)

Are all comfort foods created equal? Do you eat the same thing when you're stressed, sad, grieving, or jealous? Or are there certain foods or drinks that you know will calm you down? For example, while I might reach for a brownie when I'm sad, the added sugar isn't necessarily something I want when I'm stressed and trying to relax.

When I'm trying to unwind and take care of myself, I like turning to herbal tea, burgers, and healthy(ish) stews. I like getting extra protein in from beans or red meat (which I rarely eat), and I amp up my water intake (my stress always feels amplified when I'm dehydrated for some reason).

So what foods do you turn to when you're stressed? Please let us know in the comments. We'll compile a list of the best answers and share them later in the week.

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