A comforting and nutritious recipe to help curb sugar cravings and ease stress.
Chronic stress can deplete nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin B5, and vitamin C. These are crucial nutrients for many processes in the body including nerve function, the production of stress hormones, regulation of neurotransmitters, and immune function. Low magnesium is associated with chronic stress and a reduced ability to manage stressful situations. Consuming magnesium-rich foods and foods high in vitamin B5 and vitamin C, within a varied diet, is especially important during prolonged stress. Read here for a list of these foods .
Stress has also been shown to influence food choices and may cause emotional or ‘comfort’ eating, where sweet, high fat and high-calorie foods are favoured during acute stress. Chronic stress may also contribute to sleep problems, and a lack of sleep can increase the preference for sweet or energy-dense foods.
If you are feeling stressed and are craving something sweet to get you through the day, why not try making something that is both sweet and nutritious. You could use naturally sweet fruits or dried fruits, combined with whole grains or a small amount of fat or protein which help to keep blood sugar levels steady to avoid energy crashes. This dark chocolate dipped strawberries recipe is naturally sweet but does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar.
Furthermore, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient involved in cortisol production in the adrenal glands. They also contain plant antioxidants which can help to protect cells from stress-induced inflammation. Dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa is a great source of magnesium which helps to induce relaxation and support the nervous system.
Dark chocolate dipped strawberries recipe
- 1 large punnet fresh strawberries
- 100g bar of dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
- Gently wipe the strawberries with a wet piece of kitchen towel. DO NOT remove the green stalk as you will need this later
- Place a small glass bowl inside a pan of hot water
- Introduce a low heat
- Break up the dark chocolate into smaller chunks and add to the glass bowl
- The dark chocolate should start to melt - stir with a wooden spoon
- Once the dark chocolate is fully melted, whilst holding the stalk, dip the bottom half of each strawberry into the melted chocolate so that the bottom half is covered in chocolate
- Place each strawberry on a ceramic plate or foil-covered tray and leave to cool
- Be sure to dip the strawberries before the chocolate cools down and solidifies