Food for Thought: How To Alleviate Stress Through Diet
Most of us will reach for the chips as soon as the stress starts to rise in our lives. As a result, we will spend more time at the gym than we should, and worry about our weight more. Emotional eating is not your friend, but it doesn’t help that it’s a great short term fix. However, eating when you’re stressed – if you eat the right foods – can actually help to alleviate some of your stress! Yes, it’s possible. I want to share some of these with you in the hopes that it helps you to manage your stress better. Something else I have also learned is that it’s important to get the right nutrients from the foods you’re eating, as this will help to balance out your stress levels.
I have found that taking natural calcium supplements to obtain the right amount of calcium in my diet (as I’m vegan) has helped immensely, so you just need to find what works for you and your diet. But remember, portion control is just as important.
Oats and honey and cinnamon
Yes, this comforting food is actually good for stress. A hot, hearty and healthy bowl of oats is going to help your brain and body in a couple of ways. First of all, it’s a slow-carb food, so you’re not going to experience a surge in your blood sugar level – leaving you feeling even more stressed and tired afterwards – and it gives your serotonin a boost too. The honey is going to satisfy your sweet tooth and the cinnamon will help to ease your frustration.
Dark chocolate-covered almonds
This is definitely one of my favorite sweet treats when it comes to this list, the chocolate and the almonds work well together to give your brain a rest from stress. The dark chocolate helps to reduce your levels of stress hormones, and as an added boost, it lowers blood pressure too. Almonds help to boost your energy due to the presence of protein, and the fact that they’re packed with monounsaturated fats helps you out with reducing depression.
This healthy wünderkind of the food groups is great for you in that it has high levels of carotenoids (a type of antioxidant) and these help you out with your optimism. If you cook them up as kale chips with olive oil and salt, you’ll see that it’s a healthy stress-busting snack, without the calories.
Blend up some coffee with a hint of soy milk (the folate in the soy milk is linked with boosting your serotonin levels), and if you pop in some unsweetened cocoa powder, you’ll receive a dopamine hit which naturally increases your drive, focus and concentration.
Nuts and seeds
These have long been touted as a great stress busting snack, and if you munch on a combination of cashews, almonds and walnuts, you’ll enjoy a great hit of fibers, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants; all great helpers when it comes to lowering your blood pressure.
These tasty tubers are full of Carotenoids (remember them? They help you with your optimism levels!) and fiber – which is great for giving you that full, satiated feeling.
This tasty beverage is loaded with good antioxidants and because it contains caffeine, you’ll get a great focused calm, without the panic sometimes associated with coffee.
I hope this list of the stress busting foods has been helpful and that you manage to enjoy a stress-free week!