(NC) The holiday season may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a never-ending parade of food temptations, from boxes of chocolate at the office to hors d’oeuvres at parties. Higher levels of stress have been associated with increased appetite and desire to eat, especially among women. This sets up cravings for carb-heavy foods like chips, cookies and candies which have a soothing effect because they boost levels of the good mood brain chemical, serotonin.
The stress, anxiety and emotions that come with the holidays can also inspire these cravings. In fact, according to a new study from Centrum, a quarter of Canadians say they give in to a food craving at least once a day, with 77 per cent indulging at least once a week.
Experts recommend having some caffeine to get through the day if you’re feeling tired, taking care to include protein and good fats in your snacks and meals for balance.
“Food cravings can be your body’s way of telling you what it’s really in need of in order to function at its best. For example, if you’re craving chocolate, your body might actually be needing magnesium,” explains Theresa Albert, a nutrition expert.
You can get these vitamins and minerals in a daily multivitamin or try this peach and strawberry smoothie recipe before heading to your next event. Along with other vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is high in magnesium.
• 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) fresh peaches, peeled and pitted
• 1 cup (250 mL) strawberries
• 1 banana
• 2 cups (500 mL) berry fruit juice blend
• 1 cup (250 mL) vanilla yogurt
• 2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
Combine peaches, strawberries, banana, juice, yogurt and honey in a blender and purée until smooth. Serve and enjoy.