Stress and snacking: Sweets can help

Who doesn't know it? Time pressure, Dispute in the partnership or trouble at work - it's easy to find the next chocolate bar. Stress situations provoke many of us Cravings Attacks. According to a statement by the German Institute of Nutrition Research, about 40 percent of people eat more when they are under stress. It does not matter what kind of stress we are exposed to. Our hormones are to blame. 

Stress promotes ravenous appetite

When we are in stressful situations, the alarm bells ring in our brain and the synapses have a lot to do. This is because neurotransmitters and hormones are released in increased quantities. And very prominently among them: ...adrenaline. It keeps us (ideally) awake and alert so that we can better cope with the "emergency situation" we are in at the moment. Adrenaline also ensures that our appetite is suppressed. If the stress situation weakens and the adrenaline level drops, the body likes to get back the energy it has used up. We get it especially quickly in the form of short-chain carbohydrates - better known as sweets or chips. 

Sweets help to reduce stress

What your personal trainer or nutritionist probably won't tell you is that the calorie bombs may be worth a sin! It has been proven that chocolate, for example, raises our serotonin levels and even ensures that endorphins are released - two very good prerequisites when it comes to boosting our mood and making us more relaxed. Those who are not afraid of the soul balm with sugar icing will most likely recover faster from the stress situation and smile more often.

Compensation must be

So if we treat ourselves to a chocolate bar in any stressful situation, we are very happy and - at 500 kilocalories per bar - also quite fat. The balance has to be right, of course. A sweet treat every now and then will certainly hurt. Nevertheless, a balanced diet must be ensured. This has an enormous influence on the way our body processes stress. 

Sugar-free alternatives

So that this article does not end like an ode to chocolate, we should also consider a few alternative sweets, it does not always have to be sugar:

  • Nuts: Brazil nuts and walnuts in particular are considered helpful in stressful situations and are among the most helpful food against stress. They have been proven to lower blood pressure and improve mood. But nuts are also good in other respects, because they contain many unsaturated fatty acids and it is fun to crack them from the nut shell.
  • Sweets without sugar: Sugar-free does not necessarily mean that it must not be fruit gum or chocolate. Alternative sweeteners like plant-based Stevia are not so trendy for nothing. After all, sweets without sugar contain between 25 and 40 percent fewer calories than their sugar counterparts.
  • Vegetables: Whether cucumber or paprika - vegetables are healthy and have (almost) no sugar. Admittedly, very few people will see them as a real alternative to nibbling against stress. But maybe we should just try it...