With the return of the fall season, adults are back at work and children are back at school. In turn, the sudden surge of new tasks can be daunting for some. Unfortunately, a common coping method for this is binge eating. Instead of eating an entire tub of chunky monkey Ice Cream, consider the following options. Not only will you still be able to de-stress, but you'll also achieve a healthier diet in the process.

Make breakfast for dinner at home

Eggs aren't just a common breakfast food. According to Health Fitness Revolution, they're filled with tryptophan.

Tryptophan is a brain chemical that can be found in amino acids and is essential for relaxing the system. Additionally, they're a good source of protein. So feel free to start cracking at one in the morning. No one is judging you. If anything, your body will be thanking you soon enough. This is perfect for when you don't feel like extreme cooking. (Beware: if you're trying to avoid foods with high cholesterol, this may not be for you.)

Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or cereal

Oatmeal is another quick and easy food to make when stressed, and there's something comforting about a warm Bowl Of Oatmeal (or cereal, which is commonly reputed as a good source of magnesium) and milk late at night. As long as you don't go too crazy and buy the ones packed with sugar, it can even improve sleep.

Oatmeal contains the vitamin B6, which you can think of as a sleep enhancer. Don't consume B6 in excess, though. Research has controversially linked high doses to a greater risk of lung cancer.

Health Fitness Revolution reports that oatmeal contains a special carbohydrate that supports the absorption of tryptophan. This leads to an increased production rate of serotonin, another brain chemical that helps the body settle down.

Make a sandwich

Health.com reports that turkey breast is another food filled with tryptophan. While you're at it, why not make a sandwich? Readers Digest suggests that carbohydrates like bread increase serotonin levels and make us happier overall. If you're worried about the potential calories, opt for an alternative like whole wheat bread.

Women's Health Magazine also suggests avocados, which are rich in glutathione. Glutathione is a nutrient that blocks certain fats from aging your body. Inevitably, these aging effects tie in with stress. You can slice them and put them on your sandwich, or enjoy some avocado toast. Either way, you'll end up with a great picture for Instagram.


If you still have work to do and don't want food that puts you to sleep, try eating Fish. Not only is fish an amazing source of protein, but it's also a de-stressor that encourages higher levels of brain activity. According to Barry Sears of Psychology Today, eating more fish can produce higher levels of eicosapentaenoic acid. Commonly referred to as EPA, this acid fights off inflammation in the brain and has been proven to make people happier.

For example, substance abusers in a 2008 study were shown to have handled stress better with high EPA levels in their system. These omega-3 acids can be found in salmon and cold-water fish.

Eat a bar of dark chocolate

Believe it or not, dark chocolate is filled with nutrition. While all chocolate has the potential to decrease stress levels, dark chocolate typically has less sugar. A recent Healthline article also reports that dark chocolate contains polyphenols that support antioxidant activity. The article states that for every 100-gram bar of dark chocolate, you receive 11 grams of fiber and 67% of the recommended dietary iron allowance. You also receive 58% of the recommended dietary magnesium allowance (which has a calming effect on the body) and more key nutrients.

According to Food Network, chocolate is a carbohydrate that naturally releases feel-good serotonin in the body. It's advised to eat this in moderation due to the high number of calories, however.

Which food are you going to try? What other foods do you enjoy eating to wind down? Let other readers know in the comments!