CLEVELAND, OHIO — We’re all feeling the stress of the pandemic and many of us head straight to the kitchen to cope.
Just be sure to snack wisely, said Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist with Cleveland Clinic.
She recommends reaching for mandarin oranges.
“Not only do they have a great dose of vitamin C, which we need when we’re feeling stressed to keep our immune system up,” she said. “They’re also a little bit sweet, they’re very portable, and they are low in calories. Also, as you unpeel them, make sure you take a nice deep whiff of that orange. Studies have shown that citrus aroma is actually calming and soothing.”
Pumpkin seeds, which are packed with magnesium, are another stress-relieving snack.
“Magnesium is really important for helping to relax and calm our bodies,” Albers said. “Studies have shown that people who have low magnesium actually have higher anxiety levels.”
And if you struggle with emotional eating, just two Brazil nuts each day may help, according to Albers.
“They are full of selenium and selenium helps to regulate our thyroid and our thyroid runs everything in our body from our temperature, to our mood, to our sleep and also our metabolism,” said Albers.
If stress is keeping you up at night – Dr. Albers said tart cherries, or cherry juice, may help ease your mind.
“Drinking a glass before you go to bed can be helpful in helping you get to sleep and also reducing that inflammation in the body,” she said.
Finally, Dr. Albers noted that adding cinnamon to food can help regulate blood sugar, and its scent may make you feel less stressed too.