Unfortunately, it's common to deal with stress. It's something that affects everyone at some point in their life. Even though it's bound to happen doesn't mean there aren't ways to treat and maybe prevent it. We talk about the keto diet, a low carb, high fat diet, and how it can combat stress in the Body Reboot book. And in this article, we provide some keto-friendly foods that also happen to reduce stress. So take a deep breath and start adding these healthy eats to the daily diet.
What's not to like about avocado? VeryWellMind explains how this fruit can help with stress, and it's all about vitamin B. Add some avocado into your daily meal plan, and you'll be more energetic. Also, stress will greatly decrease.
To B, or not to B? That is the question. It’s also the answer to why avocados are great for stress relief. Studies have found that feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a vitamin B deficiency. Avocados contain vitamin B, so avo' it up! This tasty treat (fun fact: it's a fruit!) is a fantastic substitute for mayo on your sandwiches. And obviously, it's essential for guacamole! Avocado is also a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can benefit weight loss.
WebMD further dishes on the many benefits of avocado. Avocados may be high in fat, but that's precisely what you need while on keto. And contrary to what WebMD says, portion size shouldn't be your primary concern while on the keto diet. You should be more worried about eating too many carbohydrates.
One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure is to get enough potassium, and half an avocado has more potassium than a medium-sized banana. A little bit of guacamole, made from avocado, might be a good choice when stress has you craving a high-fat treat. Avocados are high in fat and calories, though, so watch your portion size.
We all know that fish is packed full of nutrients, and VeryWellMind confirms that below.
This fish is a total superstar when it comes to nutrition! When we get frazzled, our bodies produce cortisol, a hormone that has been linked to extra belly fat, among other unfavorable responses. The omega-3s in salmon reduce anxiety and depression by combating that cortisol. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which has been shown to help with depression. Oh, and it helps you burn fat. Can't beat that!
In particular, WebMD says that fatty fish can fight stress and make you feel better overall. Have you heard of PMS? Yeah, you better believe it's not a fun experience for either men or women. Luckily fatty fish can help fight against stress and help you feel better too.
To keep stress in check, make friends with naturally fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon and tuna, can prevent surges in stress hormones and may help protect against heart disease, depression, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For a healthysupply of feel-good omega-3s, aim to eat at least 3.5 ounces of fatty fish at least twice a week.
Eating Well explains how omega-3s can help reduce anxiety and boost your boost. Sounds good to us!
“To keep your wits about you when life gets hairy, you need omega-3s, especially DHA,” says Somer. In a study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, people who took a daily omega-3 supplement (containing DHA and EPA) for 12 weeks reduced their anxiety by 20 percent compared to the placebo group. You won't get the same mood boost from the omega-3s (ALA) in flax, walnuts and soy, though, so shoot for about 2 servings a week of wild salmon or other oily fish and/or talk to your doctor about DHA supplements.
3. Dark Chocolate
Yum, who can say no to chocolate? And you're in luck because Prevention tells us that chocolate can fight against depression. While on the ketogenic diet, you should stick to dark chocolate. Prevention discusses how dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and provide other benefits.
Besides the healthy antioxidants in this treat, which push chocolate to the top of most heart-healthy food lists, it has an undeniable link to mood. A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine reports that both women and men eat more chocolate as depressive symptoms increase. Of course, we've all been there, polishing off an entire package of chocolate after a bad day. But there's evidence that, in moderation, chocolate does actually make you feel better.
Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. It contains more polyphenols and flavonols—two important types of antioxidants—than some fruit juices. You can safely allow yourself dark chocolate as a snack once a week, or as a conscious indulgence, and still stay on track with your weight loss results. I always keep a few squares in my bag.
Eating Well also reveals that according to a study by the Journal of Proteome Research, people who have chocolate have an easier time of dealing with stress. Again, dark chocolate is better as it doesn't have as many carbohydrates.
If you crave chocolate when you're on edge, have some. Research in the Journal of Proteome Research showed people who ate the equivalent of an average-size candy bar (about 1.4 ounces) daily for two weeks had lower cortisol and fight-or-flight hormone levels. To reap the feel-better rewards, choose chocolate that's at least 70 percent cocoa. And remember: dark chocolate is a high-calorie food, so mind your portions.
Prevention reminds us of how important it is to eat berries and not only for excellent nutrition. Berries have vitamin C, which can help you feel better. Plus, we have to admit they're pretty tasty to eat!
Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, and they've been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress. German researchers tested this by asking 120 people to give a speech, then do hard math problems. Those who had been given vitamin C had lower blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol after the stressfest. Substitute berries for any other fruits on the plan whenever you want. I like to nibble on them frozen, too.
VeryWellMind also confirms that berries help ward off stress. In particular, you should try eating some blueberries!
Full of antioxidants, blueberries should definitely be part of your diet. They help produce dopamine, that stress-fighting chemical! And they’re delicious. Eat them plain, on top of your yogurt, or stirred into oatmeal. And for a go-anywhere snack, try freeze-dried blueberries!
Eating Well reminds us to eat our veggies… in the form of spinach! This leafy green may not be top on your list, but your body needs it. And, it'll help you feel calm and able to take on whatever comes your way.
This leafy-green veggie is rich in stress-busting magnesium. People with low magnesium levels (most of us, actually) are more likely to have elevated C-reactive protein levels-and research shows people with high CRP levels are more stressed and at a greater risk for depression. “Magnesium helps regulate cortisol and blood pressure too,” says Somer. And since magnesium gets flushed out of the body when you're stressed, it's crucial to get enough. Other solid magnesium sources: beans, brown rice.
If you forget about magnesium in your diet, WebMD says not to cut the spinach. You can get spinach in salads and many other ways. Add it to your diet and feel the difference.
Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue, compounding the effects of stress. One cup of spinach helps you stock back up on magnesium. Don't like spinach? Other green, leafy vegetables are good magnesium sources. Or try some cooked soybeans or a fillet of salmon, also high in magnesium.
What about nuts? Eating Well reveals that nuts help us because they have vitamin B and potassium It helps lower blood pressure, and there are other benefits listed below:
Stress depletes our B vitamin stores and snacking on nuts helps replenish them. “B vitamins keep our neurotransmitters in their happy place and help us handle the fight-or-flight stress response,” says Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., R.D., a psychologist in Burlington, Vermont, and founder of smashyourscale.com. The potassium in nuts is also key: Penn State researchers found that a couple servings of potassium-packed pistachios a day can lower blood pressure and reduce the strain stress puts on our heart.
If you like pistachios, then you're in luck. WebMD says they're excellent at reducing inflammation. And, they help — you guessed it — keep the stress at bay.
Pistachios, as well as other nuts and seeds, are good sources of healthy fats. Eating a handful of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day may help lower your cholesterol, ease inflammation in your heart's arteries, make diabetes less likely, and protect you against the effects of stress. Don't overdo it, though: Nuts are rich in calories.
The Prevention author reveals their love of nuts, and it's easy to see why! Get the salty ones to make them even tastier and give cashews a shot. They are a good source of zinc! Just be wary of eating too many cashews while on the keto diet. They tend to be higher in carbs than their other nutty friends.
I love all nuts. They're great snacks, and because they are crunchy and a little salty, they cure many cravings. For those trying to lose weight, they're such a potently satisfying combo of protein and fat that it's hard for me not to recommend them at every single meal. (You do have to watch portion size though, since they are high in calories.) Cashews are an especially good source of zinc—a 1-ounce serving has 11 percent of your RDA. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it's important to get some every day. Trade cashews for other nuts on the plan when you're in the mood. Coarsely chop a handful and toss them into a chicken stir-fry.
Tea is calming. According to WebMD, there's more to sipping on tea to feel calm. Some ingredients can help chill you out on a crazy, stressful day.
Drinking black tea may help you recover from stressful events more quickly. One study compared people who drank 4 cups of tea daily for 6 weeks with people who drank another beverage. The tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after stressful situations.
VeryWellMind explains how chamomile tea, in particular, can reduce anxiety. And, check out some additional studies below on how tea can benefit you!
Just the thought of sipping a mug of hot tea sounds calming, doesn’t it? Schedule in some tea time: chamomile, green tea, and black tea all work, so pick your favorite. Studies have shown chamomile tea aids in lessening anxiety symptoms. Similarly, a Japanese study found that drinking five cups of green tea each day could reduce stress by 20 percent. If you’re someone who gets frazzled after having caffeine, keep that in mind, and go for decaf!
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