Food for Thought

When stress dawns upon us, most of us seek consolation with food. This reaction is often associated with our psychological well-being but to further understand what goes in our body, a scientific research done by Harvard Medical School has provided us with comprehensible justifications to such reactions.
“The persistence of stress causes the adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite and may also ram up motivation in general, including the motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.”
We have got much to fear when our cortisol remains elevated! It hikes our binge eating habits, causing unnecessary weight gains and may further complicate the statuses of our health. To avoid unhealthy binge eating, here are some alternative food options to be in repose.

1. Cashews

According to Dr Andrew Saul from the Food Matters film, two handfuls of cashews provide the equivalent mood boosting effects as a therapeutic dose of Prozac. They are one of the highest natural sources of tryptophan, the precursor for the production of serotonin, the feel good hormone, in the brain.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries may seem small but they are a powerful pack of rich in vitamins and phytonutrients (plant nutrients), with a variety of antioxidants that are extremely beneficial for relieving stress. Studies published in the journal Psychopharmacology, 2002). No doubt, they serve more purpose than just a tasty fruit!

3. Acai Berries

Acai berry is essentially the newest super food and has receives much attention. It may not be the weight loss fruit that many people claimed it was, but acai berries are rich in phytonutrients and the antioxidant levels are off the charts!

4. Almonds

Almonds contain zinc, a key nutrient for maintaining a balanced mood. They have both iron and healthy fats. Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet. Low iron levels have been known to cause brain fatigue, which can contribute to both anxiety and a lack of energy. So get yourself munching on those almonds while at work!

5. Chocolate

Chocolate — especially pure dark chocolate without the added sugars or milks — would probably be one of the most favorite options. Chocolate reduces cortisol, as well as the harmful norepinephrine and epinephrines that can make you feel nervous and anxious. Indeed, science has vindicated all chocolate lovers!


Nur Farzana is a final year design student in Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. She believes that there are vast opportunities that have yet to be unravelled in design and technology field. She is currently working on a wearable project with her professor. You can view her portfolios to get updates on both of her upcoming and past projects:


*Disclaimer: The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of Zensorium.




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