Stress: We've all got it, and most of us would love to have a lot less of it. While there are many healthy ways to combat it—starting with meditation and regular exercise—how you eat plays a big role in how well you manage stress. During those times when life is crazy busy or things are tough at work or home, you want to be nourishing your body—not feeding the release of more stress hormones.
When we're stressed, both adrenaline and cortisol go to work, signaling your body to restock energy supplies regardless of whether you're depleted or not. The result? You tend to feel hungry more frequently and answer the call with more food than you may actually need. Add to that cortisol's ability to encourage fat storage, not enough exercise, and some poor food choices—like the ones outlined below—and you've got a recipe for rapid weight gain and a host of serious health problems down the road.
What follows is a list of stress-boosting foods to avoid and the stress-tamers you should always have within easy reach, particularly when times are tough: