Eight Great Foods that Fight Stress


Bowl of Berries

April is National Stress Awareness Month. And if you're looking to lose weight, effectively managing your stress should be a top priority. That's because stress boosts production of cortisol, which can in turn increase your cravings for sugary, high-carb treats. Plus, cortisol triggers an enzyme in fat cells, particularly those in the abdomen, which means more stress = more belly fat.

Wouldn't it be great if we could eat our way to stress relief? Well, that won't happen. Exercise, plenty of sleep, time and energy management and simply learning to keep your cool during trying situations all are necessary. But there are a few tasty treats - and we don’t mean chocolate cake - that can help.

  1. Asparagus: It's high in folate, essential for stabilizing your mood and reducing depression, anxiety and panic.
  2. Avocados: They've got more folate than any other fruit. Plus, they're rich in contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E  and glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage.
  3. Berries: All berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress. But blueberries in particular have the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, which has been linked to multiple positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition.
  4. Cashews: Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, our bodies have no way of storing zinc, so it's critical that you get a good dose each day. Enter cashews, a top source of zinc.
  5. Oatmeal: As a complex carb, oatmeal kicks up your brain's serotonin production. Known as a feel-good chemical, serotonin has antioxidant properties and creates a soothing feeling.
  6. Oranges: A vitamin C powerhouse.
  7. Oysters: An order of six provides more than half the RDA of zinc.
  8. Walnuts: Researchers at Tufts University found that animals that ingested walnuts reversed some signs of brain aging. Plus, they contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, and other polyphenols that have been shown to help prevent memory loss.

For assistance in developing a full nutrition and exercise plan sure to help you slip down and de-stress, call 800-501-8090 to get connected with the Metabolic Research Center nearest you. 

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