Believe it or not, I used to know a girl who used to eat obsessively when angry. A fat burger, a pie, some aerated drinks, some fries and maybe a chocolate muffin would go down with her easy and without any trouble. Surprisingly, when she was happy, she was not eating at all. That is when, in her words, “I feel like having a limeade, salad, fruits or something healthy. That’s when I am happy and I feel beautiful.” On the contrary, when she was pissed off, she ordered a large meal. A boy I used to know, on the other hand, despised food when he was angry. He would not eat, not respond to food calls, not be seen in the dinner table – nothing! He would go off food for days till his anger calmed down. He is no other but my own cousin! Having seen many as such in my life, it really inspires me to think and search whether or not there is a connection between anger and the type of food, or food in general. Why would you eat so much when you are angry? Why would you eat junk when you are angry? Why would you not eat when you are angry? Research told me, while not eating while angry is indeed a case of passive aggression, emotional eating is actually a disorder that involves gone-out-of-control, hedonistic eating habits when stressed. It eventually leads to Binge Eating Disorder. Where does all that hunger come from? Those who binge, often eat their feelings, using food as medicine for stress and depression. And it may be hard to realize when that person is you. So where is all this hunger coming from? Sadly, when you are angry you often eat your feelings and not the food: so you are using food to suppress the stress and depression. The hypothalamus, where rests a small part called the “satiety center”, is sadly, also the part of the brain that connects mind and body through a set of hormones, which in turn, tells your body what to do. When we are angry or depressed, our brain produces a certain level of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, GABA and nitric oxide which triggers craving for some specific genre of food. Anger triggers craving for food like meat, crunchy food and junk food such as popcorn and peanut brittle. Depression and stress make you crave for sweet food or potato chips. Disgusting, right? If only we could lose that accumulated weight as fast as our temper, the world would have been a better place. Solution? Combat hormones with hormones.
1. Lavender-infused water: The sccent of vanilla helps reduce anxiety, which is often associated with depression.
2. Chocolate cake: The N-acyclethanoloamine group of chemicals in chocolate stimulates endorphins.
3. Avocado or orange: One of the tastiest foods to calm you down is the avocado! Avocados contain a lot of B vitamins, beta carotene, lutein, folate, vitamin E and glutathione, which can block the absorption of fats that can cause oxidative stress. On the other hand, oranges release endorphins and makes your anger go down.
4. Strawberries in fresh cream: These are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps in the production of endorphins and aid the absorption of iron. They are also a good source of potassium, which helps in the generation of nerve impulses.
5. Sesame-seed chicken: A good source of protein, antioxidant vitamin E and calcium, sesame seeds have a calming effect.
6. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt contains probiotics and potassium, which has been known to help elevate low moods.
7. Salmon sushi or cured salmon: Salmon has Omega-3 fatty acids, which practically are awesome. They’re not only good for our skin and overall health, but they contribute to peak brain function and a healthy mood.
8. Eggs in any form: Eggs are an excellent source of protein and D and B vitamins, which helps in perking your mood and reduce anger.
9. Nuts: Eat nuts every day. These are not only good for odd-time cravings, but they will help you to stay cool-headed!
10. Herbal Tea: Tea isn’t food per se, but nothing calms you down like a cup of Chamomile, Lavender or Lemon tea. It helps calm nerves and helps you relax, thereby reducing anger.