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Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Foods That Help Fight Stress And Keep You Feeling Happy

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Most of us ladies are emotional (to say the least) and many of us are emotional eaters too. In fact from losing our appetite to grabbing for "garbage" our mood often dictates what we munch on...and the choices we make (even if the choice is nothing at all) aren't typically good.

But emotional eating doesn't have to be a "negative" response to stress nor does it have to be bad for you. In fact, there are plenty of good-for-you foods to choose that can actually help keep you calm.

1. Nutty Munchies: Go nuts with yourself when things get, well, nuts. Grab a handful of almonds, packed with vitamin E, an immune boosting antioxidant. Almonds are also full of B vitamins, that help your body resist any negativity it encounters. Just remember that nuts "do" contain fat (even if it is the good for you kind), so limit yourself to a quarter cup daily or switch from regular peanut butter to an almond butter alternative.

Almonds not your thing, consider a handful of walnuts or pistachios....both heart smart options that keep your heart from pounding or racing when things get stressful. In fact some studies suggest/show that eating one and a half ounces of pistachios daily helps lower blood pressure and helps your heart from working overtime. Walnuts seem to have a similar effect and all these nuts make are great on their own or as an addition to cereals, yogurts, and salads.

2. Dip into some "dip": Satisfy your hankering for a smooth, rich, creamy snack by whipping up some guacamole. Packed with monounsturated fats and potassium avocados can help ease tension and lower blood pressure and are even great in salads or on their own.

3. Have a "drink": Of milk that is. Warm skin milk has been shown to remedy insomnia and restlessness. In fact this calcium containing beverage can also help reduce muscle spasms and possibly (some)PMS symptoms. In fact some studies show that women who drank four or more servings of low-fat or skim milk daily had a 46 percent lower risk of premenstrual "problems" than women who had fewer than one serving per week.

4. Eat a good breakfast: Oatmeal is recommended. Good carbs aid the brain in producing more seratonin, a chemical associated with relaxations and the same chemical released when you eat dark chocolate. This increase in seratonin helps you stay calmer longer, and because oatmeal is also high in fiber it keeps you feeling full longer. Experts suggest adding a scoop of natural jam to your oatmeal to boost the release of seratonin and they also recommend the good old-fashioned thick-cut oats.

5.Pour yourself a cold one: A cold glass of orange juice packed with vitamin C to help ease tension and stress. This delicious drink was also shown to help bring blood pressure levels and levels or cortisol (a stress hormone) back to normal faster. Plus, vitamin C is a known immune system booster.

6. Ante up on salmon and omega-3s: According to experts stress's nemesis is omega-3 fatty acids...shown to keep cortisol and adrenaline at bay while also guarding against heart disease. Experts suggest eating a three-ounce serving of fish, preferably fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel. herring, and light tuna at least twice a week. They add that omeg-3s can also be found in foods that contain DHA such as eggs, yogurt, milk and soy products.

7. Load up on dark leafy greens: Spinach is especially effective in helping you keep calm because it is packed with magnesium, which helps lower stress levels and keep migraine headaches and fatigue at bay. Just one cup of this green stuff offers 40 percent of your daily value and it can easily replace lettuce in salads or on sandwiches.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Eat, Drink and Be Merry: Foods That Help Fight Stress And Keep You Feeling Happy

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