Do you reach out for a bag of fries or chips when you are sad and stressed? Do you dig into an ice cream tub to get rid of frustration? That comfort food provides any sort of “comfort” is actually a misconception. The fact is that no high-calorie food is going to make you feel better after a heartbreak. If anything, comfort food is only likely to make you feel worse. Comfort foods are usually sugary, high fat, deep fried and full of calories which can lead to weight gain and other associated problems. Now a new study says that eating high-calorie food when you are under stress can lead to more weight gain than in normal situations.

Simply put, you have to be extra careful what you eat when you are under stress or else it can lead to obesity more quickly. The study published in the journal Cell Metabolism says that chronic stress raises the blood insulin levels only slightly but in combination with a high-calorie diet, the insulin levels were 10 times higher. This means that the first thing you must do when you stressed is ditch the pizza, ice cream and cookies! This is what you can eat when you are under stress to feel better, healthy and ready to take on challenges with new vigour.

Whip up a smoothie, eat a stir-fry or a sabzi or salad with green leafy vegetables. Even though it may not seem tempting, it can actually do you a whole of good. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, kale and others have vitamin B which is responsible for making you feel energetic. These can also boost dopamine, the ‘happy hormone,’ levels in your brain and this makes you feel less stressed.

Have whole grain foods that take some time to digest and keep you full, ensure satiety and stabilise your blood sugar levels. These can keep your brain sharp, your stomach full and your mind alert.

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, kiwis and others which are high in Vitamin c are great for boosting your mood. Vitamin C helps your adrenal gland, that secretes hormones to help your body deal with stress, function better.

Sip on chamomile or cardamom tea. Teas generally have a calming effect on you. Chamomile tea can help you relax and even induce sleep. Cardamom has soothing properties because of the enzymes and minerals in it which help fight toxins and regularize your heart rate thus bringing down your stress levels.