We all have times of stress. Stress can cause many of us to
stray from a healthy diet. What’s worse, high chronic stress can actually prevent
you from losing weight and may cause you to gain weight, even if you watch your
diet and regularly exercise. But, did you know that some foods may actually
help you relieve stress while helping you shed fat? Try these the next time
you’re feeling stressed.
Avocado and Banana
Both these healthy fruits are loaded with potassium, a
vital, stress-relieving mineral known to help maintain a healthy blood
pressure. Avocados are also filled with carotenoid antioxidants, which help
relieve inflammation. Bananas
are chock full of tryptophan, an amino acid which is converted into serotonin,
also known as the “happy mood” neurotransmitter.
Researchers in the UK have found that tea’s benefits go
beyond a caffeine boost. CityUniversityLondon
scientists have found that the process of making tea reduces stress because the
process gives you a feeling of an “end” or “break” from anxiety. Another published
in the AmericanJournalofClinicalNutrition
suggests that an ingredient in green tea, L-theanine, has a soothing effect. This
amino acid stimulates production of calming alpha brain waves and alters
serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which affects mood. Chamomile tea is also
known for its soothing properties and so are teas with catnip, lemon balm, skullcap,
passionflower, hops and valerian.
Fatty Fish, Nuts and Seeds
Heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, such
as tuna, salmon, and sardines, can help you manage adrenaline levels while
helping you stay slim. Don’t eat fish? Try a handful of flax seeds, pistachios,
walnuts and/or almonds. They also contain omega-3’s and may reduce stress
Carrots and Other Crunchy Veggies
Your mom was right when she said to eat your carrots!
Carrots are filled with carotenoids, an antioxidant known for its
anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, carrots, celery and any other crunchy
veggie can help beat stress with their crisp, satisfying crunch. So, instead of
reaching for a candy bar, make yourself crudités!
If you’re feeling restless at bedtime, try drinking a glass
of milk. Warm or cold, milk contains vitamins B and D, protein, and calcium,
which help with muscle stress. An amino acid, tryptophan, will help relax you.
Healthy Comfort Foods
The next time you’re feeling stressed, try some comfort
food. But we’re not talking about fried chicken or apple pie! Dark chocolate
not only satisfies your taste buds but boosts your mood as well because, on a
molecular level, cocoa contains flavanols
(CF), which improve cognitive function and have been shown to reduce “mental
is another healthy comfort food shown to relieve stress hormones and boost
serotonin levels, providing a calming effect.
Grab any of the above healthy choices, and eat your way to
less stress! You can’t prevent stressful situations from happening, but you can
find ways to improve your relationship with stress by eating better and
watching your weight.