Eating to Relieve Stress and Anxiety


Stress is here to stay – at least for awhile. The volatile 2020 elections, a mercurial stock market, a global pandemic; need I go on here? There is not a whole hell of a lot you can do about some of this monumental mess (besides getting out to vote and staying safe and careful). So why not start taking a little better care of yourself these days? A workout program as simple as a couple half-hours of cardio and a few sessions with weights in the gym each week can relieve tension and help you feel and look better.


Besides staying active, another way to beat stress is to pay attention to what you eat. Turning to comfort foods and junky snacks will only make you fat and depressed. Skipping meals will cause your body to store fat more easily as your energy and metabolism go down the tubes. Here is a better list of suggestions to help you to eat, feel and look better!


Drink your milk. Stress may lower your levels of serotonin, an essential neurotransmitter to the brain and one of your body’s “stay-calm” chemicals. Milk contains whey protein which can help build and replenish your lagging serotonin. Although skim milk or 2% milk can save you calories, good old- fashioned whole milk is wonderful.


Ordering a salad for lunch is a great and healthy idea for any meal as long as you throw a manly piece of grilled chicken or fish on top of it. Leafy greens like endive, arugula, chard and spinach are great sources of B and C vitamins which are often depleted by stress and tension. The extra protein will help to maintain and build lean muscle.


Eating grilled, cold water fish like salmon, trout or mackerel which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids (the good kind of fats) can lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels. According to a curious study by one California –based health care provider, Kaiser-Permanenete, eating fish twice a week can cut down on feelings of hostility and needless aggression by more than 20 percent. 


So, it’s been a bad day, you skipped lunch and breakfast and now late in the day you are ravenous. Stay clear of the vending machines – those snickers and honey buns will go straight from your lips to your hips. Grab a hunk of fruit instead. The sugar and healthy natural fiber in an apple, pear or bunch of grapes will give you that little burst of energy, and fill you up perfectly.


OK, here we go again. How many times must I rhapsodize about the benefits of eating oatmeal? This nectar of the gods is a perfect complex, low glycemic index carbohydrate loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep you going and going. Oatmeal, it is not just for breakfast anymore.