When to eat hunts stress!

A little stress and you devour a chocolate bar. A moment of anxiety and you throw yourself on the cheese board ... In short, you respond to tension by feeding! How can your meals reduce your anxiety? Are there anti-stress dishes? The point about foods that keep us zen!

Chocolate: a reputation usurped?

Peaks of anxiety, periods of anxiety ... Stress is part of our daily lives. And it has close ties to our plate! The turn of the question with Jean-Michel Lecerf, nutritionist, to understand our reactions, our attraction and to put in place an effective strategy to fight against the tensions!

Sugar for anxiety?

The most common reaction to stress is eating more. This is the strategy adopted by 60% of the population. By eating, the anxieties calm down and the problems are evacuated, at least momentarily. Food, it should not be forgotten, is the first affective bond that unites the child to his mother: it is through the breast or the bottle that he discovers the pleasure linked to the satisfaction of need. A "revelation" that can endure in adulthood! All the more so that rewarding or comforting a child by offering him a candy is an act deeply rooted in our civilizations.

No food really anti-stress ...

Eating to calm down is a "natural" reaction, it becomes pathological when one can not solve one's problems and anxieties with a means other than food.

On the list of the foods most used to obtain an anti-stress effect, there is chocolate. So much so that all its components were carefully isolated to know if any of them had psychotropic effects.

Chocolate contains two substances, phenylethylamine and tyramine, which are similar to amphetamines. When these compounds act on the organism, they are found in the urine. However, various experiments proved that after eating 2 chocolate bars (200 g), no trace of these substances was detected. Another troubling fact is that sausages or tomatoes, for example, contain more phenylethylamine, but neither of these two foods produces the same effects as chocolate. Scientists have also been interested in fatty acid derivatives in chocolate, Properties similar to cannabis. But here again these substances are present in minute quantities.

Foods high in carbohydrates, other than chocolate, are also consumed more in the event of stress. A seductive but now contested hypothesis has been advanced. Carbohydrates, by increasing the amount of insulin in the blood, allow to secrete tryptophan, an amino acid that is transformed into serotonin. But this neuromediator is involved in the fight against depression and anxiety. But this chain reaction requires several hours, whereas the benefit provided by these foods is immediate ...

No substance, no nutrient actually seems to explain the anti-stress effects of a particular food. On the other hand, one thing is certain: the pleasure one takes in consuming a food one loves causes a secretion of endogenous opiates, which translates into a feeling of well-being and a certain euphoria. But everyone's food tastes are varied: we have all our anti-stress foods! Certainly, fatty or sweet dishes have the favor of many. This is certainly related to the fact that the taste for the sweet is almost innate and that the fats offer the nourishment creaminess and flavor. A mixture to which it is sometimes hard to resist.

The difficulty then consists in limiting the quantities: in the face of stress, the need for compensation and the impulses will be stronger than the reason!

The right anti-stress strategy

To overcome stress, food can be a valuable ally. Provided not to make excess or error. The following tips can help you