Feeling stressed? Eat this, not that


If the best way to manage stress is by taking a cup of ice cream (because letting the ice melt in your mouth feels oh-so-good), read on. Feel free to feed your anxiety with these Eat This, Not That!-approved, stress-relieving eats and drinks. Stash some of them in your snack drawer so you can grab a snack and get back to work, refuelled, refocused, and less overwhelmed. Even if your stress sends you into munching overdrive, none of these picks will derail your weight loss efforts, leaving you with one less thing to worry about. Stress Meditation, exercise and quality sleep are all powerful ways to de-stress. And, yes of course, vacation and a massage work too. These foods work to contribute to reducing stress and anxiety.

Read on and eat up!


This favourite food of most people is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which fight inflammation (a reaction to cellular stress), as well as numerous other anti-inflammatory compounds. The healthy fats in this fruit promote blood flow to the brain, and are also linked to helping lower blood pressure. If you have been eating avocado, you can also try it in smoothie. You can blend apple and avocado together and drink it.


A “sweet” nut for snacking indeed and cashews are also a great source of zinc; a mineral that plays a major role in managing the body and brain’s response to stress. It’s been found that individuals with chronic anxiety show signs of improvement with zinc supplementation.



Dark chocolate

In its super dark, most natural state, dark chocolate has been associated with higher levels of serotonin (a chemical responsible for regulating your mood). It also contains magnesium, which may have an effect on reducing anxiety. A study on the Nestlé Research Center found that those who deemed themselves “highly stressed” had lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamine’s in their system. But after two weeks eating of chocolate every day, the deficiency disappeared. However, this is no excuse for unregulated consumption of chocolates because moderation is the key. But stay away from white chocolate.

Grapefruit with a half and leaves on white background


This citrus fruit is high in vitamin C, which has been shown to lower levels of cortisol in the body and reduce the physical and psychological effects of stress. If you aren’t a fan of this tart citrus, try oranges, which is also high in this powerful vitamin.

Leafy greens

Greens like spinach, kale and broccoli are filled with folic acid, a nutrient that helps maintain normal levels of serotonin (that feel-good hormone). You can add green to your smoothie also.


Strawberries are surprisingly high in vitamin C, which has been proven to have a significant effect on stress levels. Increased vitamin C consumption has been proven to help people cope with stressful situations. Levels of cortisol (one of the stress hormones) decreased rapidly in subjects given vitamin C supplement, and the blood pressure of the study participants returned to normal more quickly in the vitamin C group than in the control group.


Talk about comfort food! A complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a soothing feeling that helps overcome stress. Studies have shown that kids who eat oatmeal for breakfast stay sharper throughout the morning. It is important for you to keep cornflakes out from your breakfast.


By Pupwaya Timothy Dibal


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