Are you a stress eater?  Many of us are and find it can have catastrophic effects on our weight and health.  Certain foods inherently help reduce stress so if you munch on them regularly, you may find that your stress level has been naturally reduced.  If you reach for the cupcakes or ice cream when you get stressed, you’ll want to read this!

10 Foods to Reduce Stress

  • Avocado.  Rich and creamy avocados are a great source of vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to naturally boost your mood as well as block certain fats.  Avocados are even great as a dessert food and better for you than that cupcake or ice cream to satisfy that sweets craving.  Try this recipe for Chocolate Avocado Pudding and you’ll be a believer!
  • Cashews.  Cashews are high in zinc, which has been shown to lower depression and anxiety.  They are high in protein too, helping keep you full longer.  It’s easy to grab a handful when you get stressed and snack on those instead.  They are perfect to eat by themselves, add to a salad or main dish.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is as a healthy snack bar like these Cashew Bars.
  • Chamomile tea.  Drinking chamomile tea, especially before bedtime helps reduce stress and aid in better sleep.  A warm cup of tea is the perfect way to unwind from the day and calm your mind.
  • Oatmeal.  Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that releases serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin is known as the feel good chemical in the brain.  Not only will oatmeal make you feel good, it will keep you fuller longer and it’s a quick and easy (and inexpensive) food.  If you don’t like traditional oatmeal as a breakfast food, try these Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Bars – they’ll make you feel good!
  • Oranges.  Oranges are a great source of vitamin C that helps you feel energetic and the sweetness can help fight off sugar cravings.  Since oranges are such great grab and go snacks, they are perfect to reach for when stress makes you want something sweet.
  • Garlic.  Garlic is great for warding off illness and boosting our immune system.  Because stress weakens our immunity, eating plenty of garlic in your diet can help keep your immune system strong.
  • Broccoli.  Broccoli is loaded with folic acid which has been directly linked with stress reduction.  While it’s not an instant treatment for stress, eating plenty of eat regularly can help you lower your stress level.
  • Chocolate.  Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants that help lower stress.  Just be sure to make it dark chocolate and don’t overdo it!
  • Salmon.  Salmon is loaded with omega-3s that help with brain function.  Improved brain function can help you more effectively deal with stress.  This Glazed Salmon is one of my favorites and is quick and easy to make for a weeknight meal.
  • Water.  Water is good for so many things!  Drinking a cold glass of water and taking a brisk walk for a few minutes is a great way to get those endorphins going and ease your stress.  Need tips for drinking more water?  Try these!

How to you reduce stress in your life?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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