Have you ever seen a movie or television show where the main character, shaken by some stressful event in their life, turns to a carton of their favorite ice cream for comfort? Usually the writers of the show manage to get a good laugh out of the audience from the scene but in reality, millions of Americans turn to unhealthy foods during periods of stress. The result? An obesity epidemic in our nation.
Why do we crave comfort food when we’re stressed? The answer has something to do with a chemical in our bodies called cortisol. During stressful periods, cortisol levels rise, causing cravings for carb-rich foods like sweets. However, indulging in these nutrient-empty foods does nothing to control the cortisol levels and leads to unwanted weight gain, causing more stress.
If you want to truly reduce stress, avoid the classic “comfort” foods and instead take a trip to your local farmer’s market. There you will find real foods like green vegetables and berries that can impact your mind and body in a positive way. These fresh, outdoor markets also give you the opportunity to soak in some much needed Vitamin D for an extra boost to your mood!
 Glassman, Keri. “13 Foods That Fight Stress”. Prevention May 2012. Retrieved from www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/healthy-foods-reduce-stress-and-depression .