Food is a powerful tool to combat stress. Not only are there foods to avoid that promote anxiety and stress (caffeine, alcohol and sugar, to name a few), but there are also plenty of powerful, healing foods that help to combat stress.
Stress may lead us to turn food for comfort. But often these comfort foods offer nothing more than an emotional crutch and extra, unnecessary calories.
In fact, stress triggers cortisol release which actually triggers food cravings. In turn, this stress triggers an enzyme in our fat cells which converts cortisone into even MORE cortisol. Visceral fat cells, especially those around our abdomen, contain more of these enzymes.
Stress often leads many women to accumulate more belly fat. Important to note: The latest research has found that abdominal fat cells are linked to a greater risk for disease, including heart disease and diabetes.
Stress leads to fat and fat leads to disease. Maybe it’s time to RETHINK our comfort foods.
Here are 4 foods that will soothe us from the inside out. These foods offer powerful, healing nutrients, satisfying and lasting energy sources and unique nutrient profiles to promote immunity, clarity and balance.
One of the best sources of the antioxidant anthocyanin, blueberries are also rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to prevent stress, by regulating blood pressure and reducing cortisol production. Throw together a quick and simply delicious on-the-go parfait for a healthy serving of berries.
These crunchy gems are an excellent source of zinc. Low levels of zinc are linked to both anxiety and depression. Enjoy a handful of this easy, home-made trail mix for a healthy dose of your daily zinc.
3. Dark Chocolate
In moderation, dark chocolate contains healthy antioxidants or flavonoids that may actually make you feel better. Dark chocolate is also known to create calm by lowering blood pressure. Look for dark chocolate with the least additives and extra ingredients. If possible, find a raw variety with little-to-no added sugars. And if you;re a Celiac like me, make sure your chocolate is Gluten-Free! We love Alter Eco and Sweet Riot.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
Crisp and packed with folate, dark leafy greens provide a healthy dose of folate to create a calm and healthy nervous system, as well as fiber to keep you satisfied throughout your day. One of our go-to salads is this crispy, fresh Citrus Dijon Kale Salad. Greens are good for more than salads. This Purple Power Smoothie, is a great way to add more green to your day!
P.S. Still trying to understand what gluten IS, exactly? Read our quick and easy definition in this post - what is gluten?
© Copyright Clea Shannon 2013
Eat Inspired Today™ LLC
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