9 Healthy Foods to Comfort Your Stress

Do you know that stress can make you fat? Uh-oh, no! But yes, any kind of negative stress can give rise to cortisol which is responsible for all type of breakage in body and fat storage. And we often reach out to comfort foods when we're feeling emotionally strained, depleted or depressed.

But please be honest, when you’re stressed out sometimes you crave for foods like macaroni and cheese, pizza, burger, French fries, ice cream or doughnut. This is a beginning of a vicious cycle of unhealthy choices. They can only make us feel better for a few minutes, until the negative mood swings back into action. These fatty and unhealthy foods lower your blood sugar levels and disrupt your body system and hence you feel repeatedly hungry.

However, there are healthy foods that can help to quell your nerves and lift your mood. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, put these super foods on your plate to calm your stress naturally:

This incredibly nutritious fruit is rich in vitamin B – the stress-relieving vitamins. Avocados are low in sugar and contain fiber, which makes you feel full and satisfied for longer duration.

Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, and one vegetable that boosts this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus. It contains high levels of B6 and folic acid. A single cup provides two-thirds of your daily value.

Nutrient-dense and delightful, almonds have many health benefits which are hard to ignore. Almonds are rich in vitamins B2 and E; both of these nutrients help boost your immune system.

They are rich in B6 vitamins which allow your brain to produce serotonin, a chemical that helps you deal with your stress and anxiety.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent complex carbohydrate with a high level of tryptophan (an essential amino acid) that converts into serotonin—the feel-good hormone of the brain. They are also high in beta carotene, which boosts immunity when stress is high, and fiber, which helps stabilize surges in blood sugar caused by acute stress.

Dark Chocolate
Good news for you chocolate freak! Dark chocolates help reducing stress as it contain good amount of cocoa, and cocoa helps reduces stress hormones. The antioxidants present in cocoa activate the walls of your blood vessels to relax. It also helps in lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. Dark chocolate contains unique natural substances that generate a sense of euphoria similar to the feeling of being in love. Go for dark chocolate varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa and you can kiss your stress goodbye.

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps keep the levels of cortisol and adrenaline under control when you're feeling tense. And salmon is one of the top sources of omega-3.

It is rich in proteins, vitamins B2 and B12, calcium and potassium which relieve tensed muscles. Go for the low fat option and try drinking a glass of milk before bed as a remedy for insomnia and fidgetiness.

Turkey meat contains the amino acid tryptophan which allows the brain to release serotonin. No wonder that we often get that sleepy feeling after eating Thanksgiving dinner.

photo: safebee.com

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