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  • Writer's pictureOptimumWellnessDSM

Eat Your Stress Goodbye - Stress Reducing Diet

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to

be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods,

and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a

bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about

something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the

long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you

can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases 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, it’s important to know

which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating

stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. 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, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the 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 antho-cyanin, which means that 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 to better deal with stress.

Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to

managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you're feeling.

Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or

soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has

long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials,

which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of

generalized anxiety disorder.

Avocado – 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


Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for

people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and

Vit-amins 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 whilst being higher in omega-3.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large

number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A

complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the

feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to 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 had alternative morning meals.

Chocolate – 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 actually

make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate

bars every time you're 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 important antioxidants

which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.

Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better

in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet,

pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of

a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as

coffee and walnut cake.

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