Now that summer is here, we’ll be at tons of cookouts. Saying no to our sweet tooth and the little devil on our shoulder is never easy, and eating our favorite junk foods is a quick way to help us de-stress. We would never want to cut out our favorite foods so we’ve formulated a list of healthy comfort foods that’ll keep you looking great in your swimsuit this year. If you want to be able to indulge without overdosing on your calorie intake, you’ve found yourself at the right place.
Oatmeal is one of the simplest breakfast foods out there. It’s low in calories and high in fiber. It’s quick to make and so simple for on the go. It’s easy to “dress it up” with some of your favorite fruits for some added color and flavor. By adding some strawberries and/or blueberries you’re able to address your sweet tooth, and they are certainly a healthy substitution for a doughnut or a mouth drooling cinnamon bun.
via Ezra Pound Cake
It’s always hard to say no to a mouth watering burger. Most of us could eat them every day, but would surely feel the remorse after we notice the extra pounds we’d gain as a result. So for all of you burger lovers out there, we’ve found that the salmon burger is a healthy substitution. For all of you who are prone to stress, you’ll be relieved to know that salmon is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which will help protect your cells against inflammation caused by stress. Just add your favorite toppings and you’re set!
via Her Campus
Walk away from the ice cream lane, and stay in the correct one. Replace your ice cream with yogurt. A study at UCLA discovered that women who ate yogurt that had probiotics noticed a reduction in activity in the area of the brain that handles stress and emotion. Don’t forget to top it off with some tasty fruits for some added health benefits and antioxidants, it makes for a great healthy comfort food!
via Overtime Cook
When we stress, we crave sugars such as soda and other unhealthy drinks. Thankfully there’s a healthy alternative and you can finally kick soda to the side for good. Packed with Vitamin C which has been linked to the reduction of stress and can improve blood pressure and cortisol levels. Be careful when purchasing store bought lemonade’s because these can be packed with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. It’s best to make your own fresh batch and add a few drops of honey and/or a few packets of stevia.
5. Simply Popcorn
Chips are something that you just can’t have a handful of. Have you ever noticed that you open the bag and think to yourself, “I’m only going to have a few” and the next thing you know you’ve managed to house down more than half the bag? Well, we have found that popcorn is a healthy comfort food. It’s high in fiber and can help level out your blood sugar. To add some flavor, top it off with some cinnamon which is known to stabilize blood sugar as well. This carb-rich snack will absolutely spark those serotonin neurotransmitters which help regulate your mood.
6. Green (Veggie) Pizza
Who would we be if we sat here and told you that you can’t enjoy pizza still? But here’s the thing, some toppings are healthier than others, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that most of them are green. Swap out your pepperoni for something healthier such as spinach or arugula. Both of these are filled with vitamin B which helps fight off depression. To boost your mood a little more, throw some lemon zest on top!
7. Delicious Dark Chocolate (Healthy Comfort Food)
No one can deprive anyone of chocolate and no one would even want to! But just like with most things in life, there are certainly healthier alternatives in the world of chocolate. For example, swap out your M&M’s for a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate will give you that dopamine rush we all want and quite frankly need every once in awhile. It also has something called cocoa polyphenols, which happens to be more prominent in dark chocolate than milk chocolate which can reduce stress – especially in women. But just like anything else, don’t overdo it, a little goes a long way!