Our diets play such a huge overall role in our health that even these anti stress foods have a BIG impact on our mind and bodies. We’ve all been there and many of us are still there. Going to sleep too late at night, pounding double espresso in the morning, commuting through traffic, cranking on all cylinders at work while your boss checks what your doing over your shoulder, go home and eat crap to make up for the lousy day and then repeat it all over again tomorrow.
Eventually your body is going to start to fail living this lifestyle and the first thing I can recommend is to do whatever it takes to take the everyday stress out of your life. I would first and foremost try to have at least 8 hours of sleep every night and it’s crazy how this one thing can dramatically improve your stress levels.
I just figure out what time I have to wake up the next morning and do the math by subtracting 8 hours from this time. Then I set an alarm on my iPhone to go to bed and that’s that. The more ways you can find to systemize your health, the better.
Before I dig deep into the anti stress foods I also want to quickly point out the foods that you should eliminate from your diet to improve your health and sanity. I would first and foremost take away that morning coffee and/or espresso by replacing it with cold water or green tea. Coffee/Espresso is bad for your stress because it will dehydrate your body and constrict your blood vessels so the temporary alertness won’t even be worth it.
Also I would eliminate and fried or super fatty foods from your diet simply because both of these are going to be no good to your body. Tossing your sugary foods out the window will also help boatloads as it will naturally keep your blood sugars stable and keep your stress busting hormones such as cortisol sleeping away. This also goes for heavily processed foods as well as flour-based foods and products as well.
The 7 Anti Stress Foods To Blast Away Stomach Fat
- Avocados – Whenever I’m feeling a hankering for something fatty I’ll reach for some avocados instead of that cake sitting in the refrigerator. I also regularly enjoy making guacamole on the weekends and saving it for my breakfast the rest of the week. Avocados will do wonders for your stress levels by lowering blood pressure with their tag team of nutrients, potassium and monounsaturated fats. The potassium has been proven to improve high blood pressure levels says the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and with just one avocado you’ll instantly have 230% more potassium of a single medium banana.
- Oranges – The next time your boss gives you hard time that makes you want to chuck your computer out the window just start drinking some orange juice. The secret anti stress ingredient in oranges is going to be the high amount of Vitamin C that lays inside them. German scientists published a study in Psychopharmacology which discovered by giving their patients a 3,000 milligram dosage of Vitamin C they lowered their blood pressure and also brought down their stressful cortisol levels back to normal. So instead of feeding your nervous ticks on a bag of Cheetos try tearing off the orange peel and downing some Vitamin C.
- Milk – Even though I generally don’t recommend eating too many fruits and dairy products if you’re desperately trying to lose weight, milk does contain boatloads of calcium which UCSF has proven to reduce stress levels in these PMS symptoms such as irritability and anxiety. If you’re having trouble relaxing or falling asleep try taking some whey protein with some skim milk as it will naturally increase your tryptophan levels and thusly will increase your serotonin levels. I also couldn’t fail to mention the good amount of B Vitamins milk has which will help take out those nasty free radicals wreaking havoc in our bodies. You could also use other dairy products as well such as calcium with some Vitamin C loaded cantaloupe as an afternoon snack.
- Nuts – The next time you have to visit your in-laws be sure to reach for a handful of almonds since they’re packed with the antioxidant Vitamin E which not only destroys free radicals but will also boost your immune system. Just be careful not to go too overboard with the almonds as they’re easy to get carried away with. Try to eat only 1/4 cup to 1/2 a cup a day. If you hate chomping down on nuts (who doesn’t?) then try some natural almond butter since it’s also filled with Vitamin E, B vitamins and magnesium. If you start getting sick of eating almonds you could also mix it up by eating more pistachios and walnuts.
- Salmon – I can’t recommend enough the intake of omega-3 fatty acids not only because they’re essential nutrients but they’re also going to be the Luke Skywalker against the Dark Vader stress levels. Diabetes & Metabolism found omega-3 fatty acids will keep cortisol and adrenaline from skyrocketing as well as protect your body against cardiovascular disease. Hopefully you’re eating either salmon, herring, mackerel or tuna twice per week. I also take an essential fatty acid supplement as well just to be on the safe side. Also study carried out by Kaiser Permanente found that by eating these fishes it lowered the feelings of anxiety by 20% which was linked to the omega-3 fatty acids as well as the B vitamins in them.
- Dark Green Vegetables – Not only are foods like spinach and broccoli loaded with B vitamins but they’re also seeping with magnesium, which has been proven to reduce stress levels. I find a bunch of different ways to sneak in spinach by cooking it into my scrambled eggs and substituting it for lettuce in my sandwiches and salads. I also like to eat raw broccoli with some salmon or chicken for dinner since it contains folic acid, which will effectively reduce stress, depression, panic and anxiety all of which won’t make you the life of the party.
- Dark Chocolate – I’m not talking the sugar loaded Hershey’s candy bar but the kind of chocolate that contains 75% and above cocao. A recent study found that eating dark chocolate lowered stress level hormones by reducing cortisol and catecholamines…both stress loving hormones. Dark chocolate also contains a good amount of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols which will not only fight off heart disease but it also may help prevent cancer as well.
You can even try taking a little bit of the best CBD oil to help calm your nerves and relax your stress away.
I HIGHLY recommend that you begin taking in these foods if you’re looking to reduce the stress in your life. Stress takes a bigger toll on your overall health more than you think and unfortunately most of us run on all cylinders so long that our bodies will eventually crash and burn. Take the time to not only let your mind and body relax but also begin taking these anti stress foods to keep your energy levels high and keep your stress levels down in the basement. You only have one body and it’s worth investing in.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college level. He has over 10 years experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He hopes to be able to bring inspiration & results to people all over the world to live a healthier life through diet & exercise.