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Sunday, 4 November 2018

Foods You Should Eat The Moment You Feel Stressed

Laurentine ten Bosch writes:
"If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed you may reach for certain foods to make you feel better. This is not a problem, so long as the foods, you’re eating are actually helping you manage your stress and not making the situation worse. 

Eating ‘comfort foods’, like a bag of chips, that are high in sugar or processed carbohydrates can provide a short-term relief from stress but leave you feeling worse in the long run and can actually be damaging to your health. 

We know how easy it can be to grab a sweet treat that’s all too convenient, and how tricky it can be to make healthy food choices when your body is exhausted and you’re feeling under pressure. So we’ve prepared a list of stress-busting, calm-inducing foods that you can keep on hand when you know you’ve got a busy week coming up or you’re already feeling under the pump. 

These top foods are proven to help boost your feel-good hormones, lower your blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels, which will help you balance your moods and feel calmer. 

Why it works: When we’re stressed, our body releases a chemical called cortisol. Capsicum reduces the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream which helps to manage stress, plus it contains vitamin C that boosts immunity. 
How to eat it: Chop up some raw sticks to have at your desk at work and munch on them on their own or with a nice hummus when you’re feeling stressed. The crunchiness will also help to relieve your tense jaw. 

Why it works: Like capsicum, this too helps to reduce your cortisol levels but is also a major source of lycopene; which has been linked to a reduction of depressive symptoms, and helps prevent inflammation and blood clots. Studies have found cooking tomatoes can increase the potency of lycopene, far great than any other fruit or vegetable.
How to eat it: Try adding cooked tomatoes to your breakfast routine or make some delicious tomato soup for lunch or dinner. 

Why it works: Spinach, and other dark leafy greens are rich in folate which helps your body produce serotonin and dopamine, regulating your mood. Spinach is also high in magnesium which helps to lower high blood pressure. The body becomes depleted of magnesium when under stress, so getting plenty of magnesium through spinach is a great way to bring your body back to balance. 
How to eat it: Add a cup of spinach leaves to your morning smoothie or create a healthy bed of baby spinach leaves to eat with a couple of poached eggs for breakfast. 

Why it works: Avocados contain 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folate. According to research published in the Nutrition Journal, avocados keep you satiated throughout the day and are helpful for regulating blood sugar levels, which helps to keep your mood steady even in times of stress.
How to eat it: Avocado is so versatile you can add it to almost anything or eat it on its own for a pick-me-up snack. Add avocado to your morning smoothies, chop it up and put it in your salad, whip it up in your blender to make a guacamole dip or even use it in a dessert to curb those sweet cravings!

Why it works: Salmon is an excellent source of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids which help regulate your hormones and brighten your mood. Salmon also contains zinc, which is often depleted in the body in times of stress.
How to eat it: Breakfast, lunch or dinner! This delicious protein is great with eggs for breakfast, pan-fried in coconut oil and partnered with a side salad for lunch, or why not try it with a coconut and macadamia crust for an easy but impressive dinner. For a quick and easy bite to eat when you’re busy, have a salmon nori roll to get the added benefit of the seaweed’s vitamins and minerals. 

Why it works: With magnesium deficiency linked to anxiety and stress, you don’t have to feel guilty about a few bites of chocolate when you’re stressed. Good quality dark chocolate contains magnesium and zinc to give you a healthy boost.
How to eat it: Have a few pieces of high-quality dark chocolate as a snack when you’re stressed.

Why it works: Walnuts contain a plant form of Omega- 3 fatty acid that the body converts into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to lower norepinephrine, a hormone which can make you feel anxious and irritable
How to eat it: Add a sprinkling of walnuts to your salad at lunch.

Why it works: L-tryptophan is an amino acid that your body converts to the ‘happy chemical’ serotonin. Do you get cranky when you’re stressed? Research has shown that people who consume trytophan become significantly more agreeable and less quarrelsome
How to eat it: Foods rich in L-tryptophan include oats, yogurt, nuts, seeds or organic pasture fed animal products.

Why it works: Stress and anxiety tend to deplete your body of zinc, and our bodies need zinc for both the immune and nervous systems. Sesame seeds hold around 10 mg of zinc per 100 g serving, whether you eat them raw, toasted or ground.
How to eat it: Sesame seeds ground into butter, known as tahini, is delicious with salads or as a dip with a few veggie sticks for a quick and easy snack. Tahini is also a core ingredient for hummus! 

If you know you’re a ‘comfort eater’ when you’re stressed, stock up on these healthy, calming foods to help you balance your emotions and keep your calm."

Words and picture above from original article here

Thanks for reading. A square of dark chocolate works for me … how about you?

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


DMS said...

This is a great list. I like and eat almost everything on the list and often have them on hand. I especially like that dark chocolate works! Yay!


Tom said...

...I'll try the salmon!

mxtodis123 said...

Good information to have on hand. Thank you.

DIMI said...

Hello Eddie!
Very interesting and useful post!
I prefer to eat chocolate when i feel stressed or sad!
Have a happy new week!

Christine said...

Positive suggestions thanks!

Cheryl said...

That's why I rarely get stressed. I eat most of those.
I can think of a few people who need to change their diet :))

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

gotta keep a store of these around.

Valerie-Jael said...

Lots of great foods here. Valerie

Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for healthy eating. Dark chocolate and walnuts are big winners here. As are many of the others (though not as snacks).

William Kendall said...

I can see why stress would lead to comfort eating, but I haven't experienced that myself.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Very good information here, Eddie! I like most of them, but just can't get into avocados! ♥

sandy said...

I'm always happy to see "spinach" on any list as healthful - love my spinach salads.

happyone said...

I don't really get stressed but when I do I DON'T eat at all!!

Sandra Cox said...

Fascinating! I'll take 6 through 9:)

bill burke said...

Excellent info to have. I'll go with the dark chocolate. :)

carol l mckenna said...

Great post for all as who doesn't have stress and we do tend to reach for the 'comfort foods' which are no comfort at all in the end ~ as yu wrote ~ thanks!

Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

magiceye said...

Great info and a list to remember when one is stressed!

Lady Caer Morganna said...

Awesome! You had me at dark chocolate! lol

Denise inVA said...

What a great post! Just what I need Jan, thank you :)

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Interesting read.

riitta k said...

Very interesting! Tryptofane also helps to sleep better... and after a good night’s sleep you feel not so pissed off :)

Iris Flavia said...

Off to buy (red, right?) peppers - thank you for this helpful, great info!!!
So sad it´s such a problem with avocados here (but soon I´m in Perth again :-)...)!
Spinach and walnut are back here now, too!

Bob Bushell said...

Thank you Jan, I don't suffer from stress, but, my son is, badly. Thanks for your help.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I love everything on the list Jan, but sometimes only choccy will do 😉

eileeninmd said...


This is a good list to remember. I should buy some dark chocolate to keep handy, in case I need some. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Lisa said...

Work is where I get stressed. I keep nuts and dried fruit at work, better make sure there is a plentiful supply of walnuts in there!
Lisa x

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks for all your comments here …

I noticed that Iris asked "Off to buy (red, right?) peppers - thank you for this helpful, great info!!!"

An article entitled 'What Colour Pepper Is the Healthiest?' can be found here

"Pick a peck of colorful peppers to punch up the flavor and nutritional content of your meals. Bell peppers come in a palette of colors -- green, red, yellow, orange, purple and chocolate brown -- and all varieties are excellent sources of the antioxidant vitamins A and C. The spicy-crunchy green pepper is a less mature version of the red pepper, which is not only sweeter than its emerald-hued cousin, but it also contains 11 times more cancer-fighting beta carotene."

All the best Jan


Suelo poner albĂłndigas una vez por semana. Me gusta variar el menĂș a lo largo de la semana.


Debbie said...

an interesting read...these are all foods i love, but i did not realize the added benefits from eating them!!

Out on the prairie said...

Good to know, sometimes i just eat when bored or not staying productive

Lowcarb team member said...

Suelo poner albĂłndigas una vez por semana. Me gusta variar el menĂș a lo largo de la semana.


Google Translate:
I usually have meatballs once a week. I like to vary the menu throughout the week.


Carol Blackburn said...

Oh, I love this post so much! I have to pass this information along. Don't we all need to remember this. Thanks.
Enjoy your week.

Sue (this n that) said...

A nice list to keep 'up the sleeve' for those times.
If only I could keep to a square or two of chocolate ;D)
Thanks for posting this... cheers Jan.

Conniecrafter said...

very interesting, I do eat most of these foods so I am on the right track :)

Amy Purdy said...

Great list!

baili said...

I absolutely loved this post dear Jan !

Thank you so much for useful stuff you shared here
I since years eat Apple specially cold one from fridge and if it is not there I take raw tomato cut it into slices and eat it always heighten my mood and energy

Magic Love Crow said...

Thanks for this list Jan! Truly appreciate it! Big Hugs!