You know those times when you’re hungry during an intense chemistry study session? Or when you’re on a three hour car ride back home and need some energy to stay awake? Or when you’re just stressed out and want something not totally bad for you to eat? We all have those junk foods (chocolate chip cookies, brown sugar Pop-Tarts, Wild Berry Skittles) that we resort to when we’re feeling down and need some snacks to lift our spirits. Well, have no fear. Here are some healthy alternatives to find solace in, that will add a little nutrition to our diets and a little brightening to our day.
1. Citrus Fruits
The more Vitamin C, the better. Oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, lemons, and more are some of the best antioxidants to increase your serotonin levels which as a result will make you happy and more energetic.
Hit up the trail mix aisle the next time you’re in Walmart. Known as great sources of magnesium and vitamin E, nuts will help you fight stress and fatigue. The best part? They come in pocket size portable packets for your convenience which makes nuts the epitome of an ideal relaxation food.
We’ve all seen the Jamie Lee Curtis Activia TV ads, so we all know the power of yogurt. Not only will you have a clean digestive track, but yogurt, also, contains probiotics (for those of us who aren’t up-to-date with the fancy medical terms: probiotics are good-for-you bacteria) that help strengthen your immune system. Greek yogurt is a protein powerhouse, too.
Not only has research proven that eating oatmeal 2 to 3 times a day soothes exhausted nerves and can improve poor sleeping habits, oatmeal possesses cardiovascular benefits, lowers cholesterol levels and helps fight asthma. So oatmeal has pretty much secured the title for ‘Most Versatile Snack,’ hands down.
5. Dark Chocolate
No need to stay away from sweets. Dark chocolate might just be the better route, since it contains amino acids essential to fight stress and increase our serotonin levels as well. Instead of the truffles, go for the dark chocolate with almonds or cocoa.