Eat Your Stress Goodbye – Stress-Reducing Diet

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email

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:

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 fat.

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.

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. Look for chocolate with at least 65% Cacao (that’s cacao, not cocoa).

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. Best to avoid rolled oats and instant oatmeal as these have been linked to increasing your blood sugar. Instead look for steel cut oats that haven’t been processed like rolled and instant oats.

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.

Pistachios

Another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!

Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet and something you’ll hear me repeat over and over in this blog. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example, spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.

Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Putting Together Your Stress-Busting Meal Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a green smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with berries and walnuts or a green smoothie with avocado and berries.

Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt topped with berries and seeds like chia or hemp, or a handful of walnuts

Lunch: Large colorful salad with plenty of leafy greens and some healthful fats like avocado, walnuts, chia seeds, or hemp seeds.

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate or green apple with nut butter

Dinner: Small portion of grass-fed beef with vegetables and green salad

Before bed: Chamomile tea

As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods that are feeding your cells and your mental health.

Share in the comments below some of your favorite stress-busting foods and meals.

Track this new habit:

Check off this habit in your Healthy Habits Tracker (download yours for free here).

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Danielle Atcheson, NBC-HWC, CHN, LMC, CGP

Danielle Atcheson, NBC-HWC, CHN, LMC, CGP

Danielle Atcheson is on a mission to inspire healthier living using the power of micro-habits.

She’s a popular speaker, a board-certified health & wellness coach, and founder of One Degree Health.

As a former Fortune 500 executive, she knows firsthand how a busy schedule can interfere with prioritizing our health.

Danielle started One Degree Health to share her Micro-Habit Mindset and wellness formula with other busy professionals through engaging workshops, online coaching & nutrition programs, and private coaching.

Founder & Chief Wellness Officer, One Degree Health; Functional Nutritionist, Lifestyle Medicine Specialist, Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner, Plant-Based Nutrition certified from Cornell University.

Schedule Your Free Session with Me

One Degree Health & Founder As Seen and Heard In

The-Denver-Post
Mind-Body-Radio
5280-Magazine
The-Denver-Post
Mind-Body-Radio
5280-Magazine
Trouvaille-Minnesota
Fearless-And-Fit-Womens-Wellness-Retreat
SecondActWomen-BizLifeCon

Why Do I Feel This Way? What Can I Do To Fix It?

Are you suffering from low energy, sleep issues, brain fog, and generally feel out of whack?

With our HEALTH SNAPSHOT service, you'll gain critical insight into why you're feeling this way and get a personalized action plan to reclaim your health and vitality and reach your wellness goals.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog and website are informational only, and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, nor as a substitute for professional medical care. As with all health & wellness information, always consult your professional healthcare providers before taking any medical action.

Share:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Get The Latest Health & Wellness News

Subscribe to our Wellness Wednesday newsletter

Includes New, Delicious Recipes Each Week!

+ Get our FREE Healthy Habits Tracker to jumpstart your wellness journey.

We won’t spam or sell your info. Unsubscribe any time. 

Before You Eat that Sweet: Top 4 Reasons to Avoid Processed Sugar

Refined, processed sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients you can put in your body, yet many of us are consuming way too much of it. Before you pick up that sweet, it’s important to remember what that sugary morsel is doing to your body.

Read More »
Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

9 Ways to Break the Busyness Cycle

There’s an epidemic of excessive busyness among modern adults that leaves us feeling rushed, discontent, and short on time. Here are nine habits to help break you out of this busy-ness cycle so that you can be more effective and productive.

Read More »
THE #1 daily habit is to Eat your greens and veggies.

THE Most Important Daily Micro-Habit for Health

Getting your veggies in every day, at every meal, is probably THE most important health habit you can create for yourself. Let’s break down how to start.

Read More »

7 Micro-Habits to Reduce Stress

It’s not possible to avoid stress, but you can manage your stress levels and anxiety by implementing one or more of these daily micro-habits.

Read More »
Are You Deficient in Vitamin D and B12 - One Degree Health

Are You Deficient in Vitamin D, B12, & Key Nutrients?

Are you deficient in key nutrients? Your poor memory, sagging skin, low energy, hair loss, & low libido are signs of vitamin deficiencies, not aging. Here’s how to fix it.

Read More »

How to Order a Healthier Margarita

Today is #NationalMargaritaDay! While tequila is touted as a healthier alcohol option, margaritas tend to be sugar and toxin bombs on our system. Here’s how to order a healthier margarita.

Read More »

Feeling Anxious? Start Clapping

When you start to feel a wave of anxiety come on, interrupt your thoughts with action. Something as simple as clapping, jumping, or taking the stairs can snap you back.

Read More »

Stop Focusing on Diet & Exercise

When you hear the word Nourishment, what’s your first thought? Well, if you’re like most people, you think of the food on your plate. Today I’m talking to you about a different kind of food, one that nourishes us way more than our breakfast, lunch, or dinner ever will.

Read More »
Photo by Ponyo Sakana from Pexels

Cleansing Greens Smoothie

My Cleansing Greens Smoothie meal replacement shake is a quick easy way to feed your cells the nutrients they need. Make it for a meal replacement or as a workout recovery shake.

Read More »
Photo by Chitokan from Pexels

How to Order Healthy Mexican Food

Healthy tacos do exist! Here’s how we order healthier Mexican food, including tacos, fajitas, burritos, taco salads, even healthy margaritas.

Read More »

The Power of Gratitude in Difficult Times

Gratitude helps us see our strength, open our hearts, and experience the fullness in our lives. Here’s how to create resiliency with a habit of gratitude.

Read More »
Get The Latest Health & Wellness News + FREE Habits Tracker
Get The Latest Health & Wellness News
+ FREE Habits Tracker

Subscribe to our Wellness Wednesday newsletter

Includes New, Delicious Recipes Each Week!

+ BONUS: Get our FREE Healthy Habits Tracker to jumpstart your wellness journey.

We won’t spam or sell your info. Unsubscribe any time. 

Subscribe to our Wellness Wednesday Newsletter

Get our Weekly Newsletter of Wellness & Lifestyle Coaching Tips, Recipes, & How-To’s.

BONUS: You’ll also get our exclusive Daily 9 Healthy Habits Tracker to help kick off your wellness journey.

On the Blog

What We're Currently Talking About

9 Must-Do Healthy Habits to Prevent Burnout and Chronic Illness

9 Micro-Habits to Prevent Burnout & Illness

Here are the nine must-do diet & lifestyle habits scientifically-proven to help prevent burnout, inflammation, chronic illness, and disease.

Before You Eat that Sweet: Top 4 Reasons to Avoid Processed Sugar

Refined, processed sugar is one of the most harmful ingredients you can put in your body, yet many of us are consuming way too much of it. Before you pick up that sweet, it’s important to remember what that sugary morsel is doing to your body.

Photo by Anna Dziubinska on Unsplash

9 Ways to Break the Busyness Cycle

There’s an epidemic of excessive busyness among modern adults that leaves us feeling rushed, discontent, and short on time. Here are nine habits to help break you out of this busy-ness cycle so that you can be more effective and productive.

THE #1 daily habit is to Eat your greens and veggies.

THE Most Important Daily Micro-Habit for Health

Getting your veggies in every day, at every meal, is probably THE most important health habit you can create for yourself. Let’s break down how to start.

This page may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com.

The products and services that we write about are ones that we like / personally use / recommend and we do not accept advertising dollars to share these specific products or services in our blog; however, we may receive compensation from Amazon at no additional cost to you if you chose to purchase these products using our links.

One Degree Health & Founder As Seen and Heard In

The-Denver-Post
Mind-Body-Radio
5280-Magazine
The-Denver-Post
Mind-Body-Radio
5280-Magazine
Trouvaille-Minnesota
Fearless-And-Fit-Womens-Wellness-Retreat
SecondActWomen-BizLifeCon