Eat Your Stress Goodbye. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a short guide to eat your stress goodbye, a stress-reducing diet plan that may be helpful to you. When stressed out, the foods you’re turning to will most likely be traditional ‘comfort’ foods. We think of big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found comfort in a tasty meal, a bottle of beer, or a glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.
Eat Your Stress Goodbye
When you’re turning to unhealthy foods, you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. You can feel less energetic when your body lacks proper nutrition. More passive and sometimes less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.
Foods That Fight Stress
If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, knowing which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when combating stress and helping you deal with stress and anxiety is essential. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
Filling up on foods such as whole grains and leafy vegetables. Lean proteins, as the basic staples of the dietary the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of outstanding properties that help the body combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.
The Best Stress-Fighting Foods
Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways, whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content, which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. This berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits, including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you better deal with stress.
Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling. Drinking liquids high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother. It has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea effectively reduces generalised anxiety disorder symptoms.
Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean you can start munching on chocolate bars when stressed out. Chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate, in particular, is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely essential antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and animals but also suitable for people. Grass-fed meat has a massive range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef and higher in omega-3.
Oatmeal is excellent in that it can be a portion of filling comfort food. It also has a large number of beneficial properties actually to make you feel better from the inside out. Eating oatmeal complex carbohydrates causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who have alternative morning meals.
If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option to help you stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavour of walnuts, and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a dessert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
Another food which is excellent for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can be quite therapeutic!
Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants, which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energised. Dark leafy greens, for example, spinach, are perfect for you since they are rich in folate. It helps your body produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you feel happier and less stressed.
Lastly, eating fermented foods such as yoghurt can help keep your gut healthy, which, in turn, will help improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods such as yoghurt directly affect your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behaviour regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.
Putting Together Your Diet Plan
Planning your meals wisely is key to staying physically fit and healthy. It is also great for staying mentally strong and managing your stress levels. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is essential to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.
When stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods laden with sugar, starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will make you feel worse in the long run.
Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yoghurt, walnuts or pistachios. Even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens can help you feel better regarding stress in the short and long term. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s essential to make sure that, for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.
To stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and ensure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks when you’re stressed. Making sure that most of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will make you feel healthier overall and can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.
An excellent example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries
- Mid-morning snack: Natural yoghurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts
- Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens
- Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate
- Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables
- Before bed: Chamomile tea
Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Remember to exercise reasonable portion control when eating nuts, chocolate, yoghurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that, first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are suitable for your mental health.
I hope you enjoyed that.