WASHINGTON – Are you stress eating? Well, it turns out it actually helps – as long as you’re eating the right foods.
The American Chemical Society says foods such as chocolate and berries act similarly to valporic acid, which is a common mood- stabilizing drug, reports PsychCentral.
“The large body of evidence that chemicals in chocolate, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, teas and certain foods could well be mood-enhancers encourages the search for other mood modulators in food,” says Karina Martinez-Mayorga, who led the research team that found the valporic acid connection.
She adds that eating these foods isn’t a substitute for medicine.
Need some ideas on where to start snacking for a better mood? Here are nine picks from MSN’s Healthy Living that should cheer you up.
Dark chocolate: Helps reduce anxiety and depression, so feel free to indulge.
Salmon: Fights depression, helps memory and improves focus.
Spinach: Popeye will be proud. This leafy green protects against free radicals that contribute to low energy and mood swings.
Chicken: Vitamin B12 in the white meat calm the body. Not enough B12 makes you tired.
Tofu: This soy product is great for relaxing tired muscles.
Avocado: This green guy has mood-boosting serotonin and is great for skin, hair and nails.
Greek yogurt: Probiotics better your mood and are great for the immune system.
Green tea: The theanine in green tea is a calming agent.
Berries: Nutrients in blueberries as well as strawberries and raspberries help reduce stress and ease depression.
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.