Reduce Stress with These Foods

Salmon and greens

When we’re stressed, we eat. It’s the way it is. Our daily stress causes cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol leads to food cravings, especially for carbs and sweets. But unfortunately, the more of them we eat, the worse our mood gets. So, when you’re stressed, instead of reaching for so-called comfort foods, try these stress-relieving options instead.

  1. Tea – calm your nerves with a soothing cup of your favorite tea. Need even more stress relief? Add a teaspoon of CalMax.
  2. Swiss Chard – the magnesium in Swiss chard and other leafy green vegetables helps balance the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body.
  3. Fatty Fish – the heart-healthy omega 3’s in fatty fish help manage your adrenaline levels.
  4. Whole Wheat Pretzels – if you’re looking for a quick snack or your only option is a vending machine, choose whole-wheat pretzels or crackers. The fiber will help you feel fuller and the carbohydrates release the feel-good chemical, serotonin.
  5. Carrots – ever wonder why you feel less stressed after eating a bag of potato chips? It’s the crunch!! Try carrots instead. They’re full of nutrients and not calories.
  6. Milk – your mother was right – a glass of milk before bed can have a calming effect. Stick with a low-fat or skim variety and the B vitamins, protein, vitamin D and calcium will do their job.
  7. Yogurt – if ice cream is your “go-to” stress reliever, try yogurt instead. Fresh or frozen, it’s a much better option.
  8. Nuts – stress wears you down, depleting your supply of zinc. When you reach that afternoon low, grab a handful of plain almonds, walnuts or pistachios. Plus, they satisfy the need for something crunchy!
  9. Dark Chocolate – we’re not talking about a Hershey’s milk chocolate bar here. But research suggests that dark chocolate may lower stress hormone levels. Be mindful of portions – a 1oz serving is plenty.
  10. Oranges – vitamin C can be a powerful tool in fighting stress. When you’re stressed, your immune system is weakened, leaving your more susceptible to illness. Oranges are a great go-to solution. They’re portable and there are many varieties from clementines and tangelos to mineolas.