Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eat To Beat Stress

When your nerves are at wits end and you feel like you are going to explode, stress eating isn’t a bad thing as long as you are eating the right thing.

Do you know what foods to eat?

When stress starts the worst thing you can do is let it go unchecked, stress can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity.

When stressed you experience an immediate cardiovascular responses to stress due to what’s called the fight, or flight response.

Then your adrenaline raises blood pressure to boost energy so you are prepared to run, but if your stress doesn’t require you to fight or run you just become s self perpetuating time bomb waiting to explode over something simple.

But eating the wrong foods will only compound the problem, eating the right foods can relieve stress and calm you down.

Foods to eat when stressed:


Carbohydrates make the brain produce more serotonin, which is a relaxing brain chemical.

Most people would eat chocolate, or something with sugar at this point to feel better. But this is a temporary fix since they are simple carbohydrates. Not to mention not very healthy, and even worst for your waistline.

Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate; your body absorbs complex carbohydrates slowly. This creates a steady flow of serotonin, plus its healthy and great for your waistline.

Make sure you only use steel cut oats, or whole rolled oats.

Instant oatmeal has added sugar, salt, and chemicals making it high glycemic.

Other sources of complex carbohydrates are Bran, and brown rice.

Good Fats:

Sorry but this isn’t cookies or doughnuts, good fats contain omega 3 fatty acids. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) that lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

Nuts like Walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and even roasted peanuts contain antioxidants, and B vitamins that help strengthen the immune system that help you hold up under stress.

Nuts are also a great source of protein, amino acids, and minerals for a healthy diet

Eating about a handful of nuts a day will lower your blood pressure at rest and under stress.

But you must buy nuts in there shells to get the full health benefit.


Warm milk is the old fashioned remedy for insomnia; this is because calcium can reduce muscle spasms and smooth tension.

People who suffer from hypertension and high blood pressure, all stress related symptoms could benefit from drinking milk products.

Its best to drink skim milk since the fat content in milk is high.

Fruits and Vegetables:

Vitamin C is a well know immune system booster, it also helps your blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone) return to normal faster when stressed.

Best sources are strawberries 82 mg, oranges 70 mg, broccoli 58 mg, grapefruit 44mg, and tomatoes 23mg. (all milligrams are per serving)

People who consumed 3000 milligrams of vitamin C daily felt less stressed.


Seven out of Ten people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet.

Symptoms of not getting enough magnesium are migraine headaches, fatigue, depression, confusion, and high blood pressure.

Best sources are brown rice 83mg, almonds 81 mg, spinach 78 mg, avocado 50 mg, and peanuts 49 mg. ( all milligrams are per serving)

Recommended daily dosage is around 400 mg daily for an adult.

Omega 3s:

A diet rich in omega 3s fatty acids keeps cortisol (the stress hormone) and adrenaline from erupting out of control.

DHA: (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega 3 fatty acid and the highest concentration in your body is in your brain, and nervous system.

Fish and fish oils are a great source of DHAs, salmon, herring, albacore and blue fin tuna.

A healthy diet should include 1600 mg of omega 3s daily, 10% should come from DHAs.

The problem with fish is the high amount of mercury, so if you are pregnant or nursing you should not eat fish.

A lack of DHA is being studied for its role in behavioral, and mood disorders.

Other great sources of omega 3s with DHA are eggs, yogurt, milk, flaxseed oil, and soy products.

Want To Know More - see Should You Be Drinking Milk

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