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The Best (And Worst!) Foods for Stress

By Sara Butler

You are what you eat. So, what are you? A healthy serving of steel-cut oats or a muffin top? One of the most common things that impacts your health is your diet, but it may be impacting you in ways you haven't thought of yet. Your demanding schedule on top of your busy job and poor diet can make you a giant ball of stress. One way to negate the impact of stress in your life is to know what you should eat and what you shouldn't. Here are some foods you should add to your diet to help combat stress and some foods you steer clear of if you ever hope to find your moment of Zen.

Foods to Stay Away From

It's probably best to get the bad news out of the way. If you want to be healthy and avoid the negative impact of stress in your life, you need to limit your intake (or avoid altogether) of these foods:

  • Ice cream - While Ben and Jerry's may make an appearance at your stressed out pity party, you're not going to feel better after all that refined sugar only helps to drive your body's output of the stress hormone cortisol higher.
  • Coffee - One cup of coffee in the morning can help to boost your mood and stimulate the release of dopamine to help you feel good, but that triple shot white chocolate mocha-latte with a ton of added sugar can add to your body's stress levels.
  • Pretzels - The added salt in these twists will increase your blood pressure. Combine that with a healthy dose of refined carbohydrates and your stress levels can go through the roof!

Foods to Eat More Of

There are a ton of healthy foods out there that can actually help to lower your stress levels. Consider adding a few more of these to your diet to help combat the impact of stress on your health:

  • Spinach - If you don't get enough folic acid, then it can decrease the natural hormones in your body that help to fight off the impact of higher levels of cortisol. Spinach is packed with folic acid, so enjoy yourself! Chickpeas, asparagus, broccoli, beans, avocado, and lentils are also full of folic acid.
  • Oats - If you have a lot of stress, you need more serotonin in your life. Foods like oats help your body to produce more serotonin to help fight back the impact of stress.
  • Strawberries - This bright, happy little fruit may be the key to your fight against stress. The Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants in strawberries help to keep your stress hormones in check.

Stress is something you can't avoid, but you can learn to help your body deal with the stresses of everyday life and thrive!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bossier City, La.

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