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Can Eating Right Help Beat Stress?

Of course, it can! There are foods that nourish the mind AND the body.  By taking the time to learn which foods can help support your body during times of stress, and then adding them to your daily life, you can lower your feelings of stress and the symptoms that stress can create.  Compliment your diet with lifestyle changes (lowering stress WITHOUT food) and you’re armed with tools that will keep you feeling awesome.

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Feeling down? Skip the comfort foods! Look for these amazing nutrients and vitamins in these healthy options to help beat stress.

1 – Omega-3s

    • What They Do: Omega-3s can help prevent surges in stress hormones and protect you from depression. It’s also a great way to help protect against heart disease!
    • Where to Find Them: Salmon, Tuna, Nuts, Shellfish

2 – Vitamin B9/Folate

    • What it Does: Vitamin B9 (AKA folate or folic acid) and its Vitamin B family members help support brain function and can improve your mood.
    • Where to Find It: Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli, Chickpeas

3 – Antioxidants

    • What They Do: Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in your body and have been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
    • Where to Find Them: Garlic, Berries, Eggplant, Coffee

4 – Tryptophan

    • What it Does: Tryptophan has been shown to help improve sleep. A good sleep can do wonders to reduce your stress, helping your refresh and recharge!
    • Where to Find It: Eggs, Turkey, Tofu, Chicken

5 – Magnesium

    • What it Does: Most people don’t get enough magnesium, which has been closely linked to relieving anxiety and helping with depression.
    • Where to Find It: Almonds, Swiss Chard, Black Beans, Ground Beef

Are there foods that are contributing to your stress?

Of course, there are!

Everyone wants to turn to comfort foods when they’re feeling stressed—it’s a normal response! It might surprise you to learn that you’re actually making things worse when you grab something sweet or reach for the chips.

  • Sugary Foods
    • Sugar can cause changes in your blood sugar, resulting in big highs and low lows. This can impact your emotions, too.
  • Gluten
    • Some gluten-rich foods, like wheat, actually inhibit production of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter closely linked to feelings of happiness and calmness.
  • Processed Foods
    • The problem with processed foods is that they contain so much stuff that could potentially affect your mood!  Artificial ingredients, food coloring, and nutrient-void ingredients are top of the list for mood disruptors.

Try increasing your stress-busting foods, especially during high-stress times, to give your body the best chance at staying in balance.  Reduce the known nutrient stressors and you’ll get through those tough times with more ease. Not sure where to get started? Use our Meal Planner to get your plan and organize your meals; reducing the stress of not knowing what to eat while giving your body healthy meals.


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