Stress can affect appetite. Some people tend to crave and have a higher consumption of unhealthy foods such as food rich in calories, sugars and fats. A study reveals how it may be possible to crave healthy food when stressed.
The National Institutes of Health explains that stress is a physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having too many tasks or having an illness. A stressor or stressor can be a one-time, short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long period of time.
Appetite is largely controlled by hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is known as the appetite-stimulating hormone, this hormone tends to decrease in response to acute stress and increase in response to chronic stress.
Products such as chocolate, candy, ice cream, and other comfort foods can provide a sense of stress relief through their effects on the brain. These snacks activate reward regions by increasing dopamine, the hormone that promotes pleasure, and other neurotransmitters.
Researchers have found that you train your brain to want healthy foods when you are stress eating.
According to Wtop, a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that people who did stress-relieving exercises while eating fruit, after one week, test subjects associated eating the fruit with feeling more relaxed.
In the study, participants were asked to perform six minutes of progressive muscle relaxation exercises every day. After the exercises, the subjects were asked to eat a serving of fruit.
For progressive muscle relaxation exercises, the muscles are tensed for a few seconds and then the tension is released. The exercises are performed from head to toe.
The study authors suggest consuming fruits that are not eaten frequently, such as carambola, kiwi or mango.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests learning what causes or triggers stress and what coping techniques work for you can help reduce your anxiety and improve your daily life.