Comfort foods are referred to those foods which are consumed in periods of emotional stress, and is believed to provide a psychological relief from negative feelings and boost positive emotions. Choosing comfort foods rich in sugar & fried foods can risk the obesity setting in earlier than expected. Sugar rich foods happen to give a feeling of illusory happiness and relief, but in turn, they happen to increase cravings for more such foods. Including protein foods such as protein bars can reduce the ill effects of binging on junk foods.
Choosing Comfort Foods
Studies have shown that psychological triggers vary among males & females for the consumption of comfort foods. It has been found that men mainly treat themselves with comfort foods during periods of mirth & celebration whereas women go for comfort foods while undergoing negative emotions. Also, women choose more snack related convenience foods as comfort foods whereas men chose meal related comfort foods.
This well illustrates the fact the struggle women have to go through while losing weight because of their snack related comfort foods cravings and their weight-conscious mindsets.
The Brain & Comfort Food Connection
Studies has shown that serotonin is an important neurotransmitter which gives rise to feelings of happiness and good mood. Serotonin is produced from an amino acid called tryptophan which is supplemented through the diet. Tryptophan is called as the essential brain nutrient which helps maintain mood stability.
Consumption of alcohol, sugar rich foods, processed foods, increased amounts of stress can all cause fluctuations in the serotonin levels in the brain, depleting their stores, causing frequent mood swings. Hence, protein rich foods such as protein bars, supplement the diet with good quality proteins and prevent frequent cravings for sugar rich foods. Protein bars can thus be vouched as the best comfort foods for the brain.
Protein Bars As Comfort Foods
Protein bars contain good quality proteins from whey or soya source and certain essential fats from nuts as well. These bars can serve as excellent comfort snacks for women even aiming to shed few pounds. Proteins are known for their satiety factor in weight loss efforts, moreover, they stabilize serotonin levels as well, which are known to affect mood, behavior, appetite and digestion.
Nuts added in protein bars helps to provide essential fatty acids, which also contribute in improving mood. Fatty acids help in enhancing mood and improve thinking, feeling during periods of depression. They have recognized for having mood-stabilizing and anti-depressant actions. Both proteins as well as good fats help in improving mood, which is the purpose of comfort foods.
So, the next time you feel low, keep protein bars within your reach to treat yourself!