Stressed Out? Go Ahead and Eat!
Stressed Out? Go Ahead and Eat!
By Loreen Worden
It has happened to most of us. You get stressed and you eat something bad for you – like that chocolate peanut caramel candy bar. Yeah… it tasted good at the moment, but it did not really help you to actually combat the stress that drove you to eat in the first place!
The good news is though, that there are several foods out there that you CAN eat when you are stressed, that CAN help you fight the stress. Those foods include: some nuts, avocados, skim milk, oatmeal, oranges, salmon, and spinach. Keep reading to see how each of these can help you when you feel the need to eat when you are stressed.
Nuts are a great snack to begin with. Easy to carry with you, don’t make your hands all sticky, and a great crunch on top of it! What makes it even better is that some nuts are really good for you. Almonds, for example, have vitamin E, B vitamins, and antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. You might even want to switch from peanut butter to almond butter if going for the jar of peanut butter is a way that you eat to beat your stress.
Other nuts that you can try are pistachios and walnuts. Since when we are under stress, a cardiovascular response can happen that makes your heart speed up, causing you to breathe faster. If you were being chased and needed your heart and lungs to do that, that would be okay, but for the most part, we do not need to run for our lives on a regular basis. So, we do not need that great cardiovascular response. Pistachios and walnuts can both help with that. Plus, pistachios and walnuts can both help to lower your blood pressure on a daily basis, whether under stress or not.
Avocados are another great food for helping combat stress. They contain monounsaturated fat and potassium that can help lower blood pressure. When made into guacamole, “the thick, rich texture can satisfy your craving and reduce frantic feelings” during a stressful time.
Long ago when I could not sleep at night, Grandma always said warm milk will help you settle down. Well, science says that Grandma was right! Milk contains calcium, which can reduce muscle spasms and ease tension, helping you to settle down during a stressful time. So, the next time you are in the midst of a stressful time, go find yourself a glass or bottle of milk.
We have long known that oatmeal “sticks to your ribs” and can help you make it through the morning longer before you start to feel hungry. This is because oatmeal is high in fiber, so it takes longer to digest in your stomach. Also, since it is a carbohydrate, it causes your brain to produce serotonin, which helps to relax your brain, helping you to better handle stressful times.
Your body also needs omega-3 fatty acids on a regular basis. One of the best ways to get omega-3 is by consuming fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and light tuna at least twice a week. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acid, which can keep your cortisol levels and adrenaline within acceptable ranges, as well as protect you against heart disease. Very important to your regular diet!
It is important to make sure that you consume enough magnesium each day, to help your body to handle stress better. When you don’t get enough magnesium, you can feel fatigued, but it could also trigger migraine headaches. Since many of us are not getting our needed amounts of magnesium, it is no wonder that so many of us feel run-down and stressed-out. Consuming one cup of spinach is enough to equal 40 percent of your recommended daily value of magnesium, so using spinach in your salads, in place of lettuce on your sandwiches, or even in fresh spinach dip, is a way to add some different tastes into your day, as well as help yourself have more energy.
Lastly, oranges can also help you handle stress, since they contain vitamin C. Not only do they help your immune system to function better, they may also help lower your stress, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, which can spike during a time of stress. When your immune system is in a weakened state or you are stressed out, you are more susceptible to catching the colds that are going around. You can boost your body’s defenses by eating oranges and other citrus fruits, especially during cold season. During the month of January, The Fruit Company has a great fruit of the month, premium oranges! So, if you want a great way to boost your immune system and help lower your stress, check out the Harvest Club Organic selections, and have some oranges shipped right to your home!
So, you don’t need the newest, latest, or greatest super miracle stress cure that the commercial on television is telling you about. You just need to add a few simple foods to your diet on a regular basis. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised that you have more energy and feel better, you can rest assured in knowing that you are eating things that are healthy and that your body needs anyway. If you opt for the organic versions of many of the foods discussed above, you can also rest assured in knowing that you are doing all you can do to help your health, and you might possibly be lowering your risk for some types of cancers as well. You can further lower your stress levels by making sure that you get cancer screenings on a regular basis.
For more information on screenings and other ways that you can help prevent cancer with a healthy diet and early detection, please visit Cancer Insurance Info and learn how you can get paid to get tested!
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