Aafiya Life

Eat Your Stress Goodbye – Stress Reducing Diet

Eat Your Stress Goodbye - Stress Reducing Diet

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods and sweet foods. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on plant based foods such as leafy vegetables, whole grains , nuts, seeds, beans and legumes as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. This nutrient-dense fruit has the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
  • Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Dark Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you’re stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
  • Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
  • Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as natural Greek yogurt, kimchi, miso or tempeh can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include lean proteins and  plant based foods such as, plant milk, plant proteins, leafy greens, multi colored vegetables and fruits will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

In our 2 weeks coaching program, Program Wholesome5, Eating Program that Heals, we provide you with among others, a 5 Day Plant Based meal plan which has been specifically formulated to improve your gut health, which in turn will help you combat stress

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daftar untuk masuk ke waitlist

Program Wholesome5

    Saya, Susanna Ameriyanti Suwandi,seorang suri rumah yang berumur 49 tahun

    Sebelum ini saya banyak terlibat dengan aktiviti riadhah fizikal seperti hiking, zumba, mini marathon dan sebagainya. Bagaimanapun, setelah mengalami kecederaan lutut beberapa tahun yang lalu, keterlibatan saya di dalam aktiviti riadhah berkenaan amat terbatas.

    Akibatnya, saya mengalami kenaikan berat tubuh badan secara mendadak dan tidak terkawal. Saya juga mengalami insomnia dan keyakinan diri saya di dalam aktiviti sosial amat terkesan.

    Apabila mula diperkenalkan kepada program "Wholesome Five" oleh Aafiya Life saya mengaku saya merasa sangsi akan keberkesanannya kerana saya telah cuba berkali2 utk diet tanpa sebarang hasil yang memberangsangkan.

    Tetapi setelah mengamalkan program "Wholesome Five" saya amat gembira dengan hasilnya. Dengan support system yang first class daripada coach Aafiya Life Team dan peserta2 lain…Kami hanya perlu mengambil makanan kaya nutrien yang sangat sedap dengan resepi dan pelan yang disediakan. Setelah hanya lima hari saya berjaya menghilangkan berat badan sebanyak 3 kilo. Bukan itu saja, saya dapat tidur dengan nyenyak pada setiap malam, rasa amat segar bila bangun setiap pagi dan rasa sungguh aktif dan tak mengantuk sepanjang hari dan yang paling penting saya belajar bagaimana caranya mengamalkan pemakanan yang sihat.

    Bagi mereka yang bertekad untuk menurunkan berat badan mereka dan meningkatkan kesihatan secara mampu mampan dan menyeluruh saya mengesyorkan programme wholesome 5 ini.

    Tidak lama dahulu, saya adalah orang yang overweight sebanyak 12kg, selalu merasa letih sehingga tidak mampu fokus kepada pekerjaan dan tanggungjawab terhadap keluarga dengan baik. Saya merasa benci lihat diri saya setiap hari , tidak percaya pada diri sendiri, selalu merasa kecewa kerana tidak dapat memakai pakaian yang saya mahu dan mengalami anxiety.

    Saya merasakan bahawa saya hanya hidup dari hari ke hari, semata- mata untuk memenuhi
    tuntutan hidup yang seperti perjuangan yang tidak pernah berakhir.

    Saya telah mencuba banyak jenis diet popular, pengganti makanan dan berkunjung ke pusat
    pelangsingan badan .

    Semuanya tidak mendatangkan hasil yang berpanjangan.

    Saya pernah hilang harapan dan menyangka bahawa saya hanya perlu menerima hakikat sebagai
    seorang wanita pada usia 40-an sukar untuk menurunkan berat badan, dan saya tidak lagi dapat
    memiliki sosok langsing seperti ketika saya lebih muda dan tidak akan mencapai berat badan ideal
    saya selama-lamanya.

    Tetapi apabila saya di perkenalkan kepada cara pemakanan yang betul, yang menitik beratkan nutrisi dan pembersihan badan, saya telah berjaya menurunkan berat badan berlebihan sebanyak 12kg dan dapat mengekalkan berat badan ideal saya selama lebih dari 2 tahun tanpa perlu mengira kalori atau tanpa sentiasa perlu berdiet Saya berasa lebih bertenaga sekarang pada usia 50 tahun berbanding
    ketika saya berusia 30 tahun. Ramai juga yang mengatakan saya nampak lebih muda dari usia saya.

    Minat saya terhadap cara pemakanan sihat makin meningkat dan saya mula melakukan banyak
    penyelidikan mendalam untuk mengetahui bagaimana makanan dapat menyembuhkan badan kita
    dan secara tidak langsung menurunkan berat dengan cara sihat.

    Sejak itu, saya telah membantu ramai wanita untuk mencapai berat badan ideal mereka Saya
    menjadikan misi saya untuk memberi sokongan dan bimbingan yang tepat kepada wanita lain yang mempunyai masaalah berat badan seperti saya dulu.

    Saya mula naik badan setelah melahirkan anak. Sewaktu itu saya tidak tahu apa-apa tentang nutrien.
    Saya cuma dengar untuk kurus kita kena kurangkan kalori yang masuk. Maka saya ingat cara terbaik adalah dengan kurangkan nasi.

    Saya berhenti mengambil nasi selama 2 bulan untuk turun sebanyak 6 kg. Tapi mana mungkin saya
    berterusan begitu dan akhirnya saya lepas geram dan makan semula dengan banyak.

    Saya kemudian didiagnos menghidap endometriosis, satu penyakit ketidakseimbangan hormon.
    Oleh kerana diet yang tidak sihat dan sentiasa stres dan tidak cukup tidur, penyakit ini tetap
    berulang hingga menyebabkan saya terpaksa melakukan 3 kali pembedahan.

    Semakin usia meningkat ditambah dengan penyakit dan gaya hidup yang tidak juga berubah, berat saya semakin bertambah sehingga mencecah obesiti!

    Setelah belajar mengenai pemakanan dari pakar nutrisi, saya mula berusaha menurunkan berat
    badan saya dan berhasil – turun sebanyak 11 kg dalam tempoh 6 minggu sahaja! Tidak lama
    kemudian saya berjaya mencapai berat ideal dan maintain hingga kini, setelah 3 tahun.

    Saya diuji lagi. Rupa-rupanya endometriosis saya berulang lagi buat kali ke 4. Kali ini doctor tidak
    mampu berbuat apa-apa.

    Saya membuat penyelidikan sendiri , mencari makanan apa yang boleh membantu penyakit saya.
    Alhamdulillah keajaiban kedua berlaku! Akhirnya dengan diet yang betul, ketumbuhan saya kini
    semakin mengecil. Ini membuktikan, pemakanan yang betul dan berpuasa dapat menyembuhkan!
    Food is The Real Medicine.

    Sejak itu saya berusaha menambah ilmu berkaitan dengan pemakanan dan cara peyembuhan secara holistik. Kini saya berkongsi pula ilmu dan pengalaman yang terkumpul kepada golongan wanita terutamanya yang ingin mendapatkan tubuh badan yang sihat dan langsing secara semulajadi dengan mengubah pemakanan dan gaya hidup mereka.