Stress eating gets the best of all of us. From a looming work deadline, to things going on at home ect…, means you’re 95% likely to finish that family-size bag of chips. But your brain doesn’t need a steady stream of empty calories to be productive and alert. Pick snacks with a combination of nutrients that leave you satisfied and focused without an energy-sapping blood sugar crash—think: fiber-rich carbs plus a bit of fat or protein. As an added bonus, you can pick foods that have proven stress-busting qualities.
Here are a few examples of snack ideas:
1. Ants on a Log
2 stalks celery + 2 Tbsp almond butter + 1 Tbsp raisins. Energizing carbs and filling fiber, fat, and protein—this snack’s got it all.
2. DIY Energy Bites
½ c chopped dates + ¼ c rolled oats+ ½ c nut butter, all mixed together and formed into 12 to 14 bites. The perfect treat, or even on-the-go breakfast, to satisfy a sweet craving while keeping blood sugar stable.
3. Herbal Teas
These are comforting and can help calm your jittery digestive tract. Chamomile specifically has been shown to ease anxiety and irritability; while green tea contains the amino acid L-Theanine, which provides a focused calm.
4. Open-Faced PB&B
1 slice whole-wheat toast + 1 Tbsp peanut butter+ ½ banana + drizzle of honey. Foods that remind us of childhood are naturally comforting and calming, and this one just happens to be healthy, too.
5. Dark Chocolate-Covered Almonds
The intense flavor of dark chocolate can help curb cravings, and just 1 oz per day can help reduce stress hormones.
6. Veggies & Dip
2 sliced carrots or celery stalks + 2 Tbsp guacamole or hummus. If you’re a snacker that needs to feel full to be completely satisfied, veggies fill you up without filling you out. Guac or hummus help that full feeling stay with you.
7. Mini Parfait
½ cup yogurt + ½ cup blueberries + 1 oz chopped nuts. Dairy packs calcium and protein, both of which help your body release feel-good neurotransmitters.
8. Water or Flavored Water
Opt for seltzer with cucumber slices, or any other fun fruit- and veggie-infused combinations. We often mistake dehydration for hunger.
9. Trail Mix
1 oz walnuts+ 1 Tbsp dried cranberries or raisins + 1 Tbsp dark chocolate chips. Studies show that regularly snacking on walnuts may help your body respond better to stress.