"You know what I could really go for after a stressful day...a fat, juicy carrot." - Said no one ever!
When the body undergoes a stress response, the natural instinct is to turn on survival mode.
Survival mode typically means that digestion is not the first priority. The hierarchy of survival goes: heart --> lungs --> muscles (necessities to run from a tiger) --> digestion --> reproduction --> psycho-spiritual.
If the body wants food at all, it wants things that are easy to digest AKA carbs. Carbs are simple to break down, give quick energy, and they are the only nutrient that is digested in the mouth.
We have an enzyme in the saliva called amylase that helps break down carbs. All other nutrients are broken down later in the digestive tract and require more work to metabolize. Carbs are easy, and when we're upset, the body wants easy.
So next time you feel upset and crave starchy, carbohydrate-rich foods, have compassion for yourself. Your body is stressed, and it's trying its best to keep you nourished. Take a few deep belly breaths and move onward. You are a fantastic human being, and you're doing great.
For stress management tips, please feel free to reach out or peruse my other blog posts for more ideas.