When you start to feel stressed, it’s so easy to try and eat it away.  But stop and think for a moment.  All that delicious stressie food, like chocolate and ice cream, does not really help you cope.  It just serves as a temporary fix and helps to prove that other adage – a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.

Here are five foods that you can eat in moderation to help you deal with your stress.

  1. Oats
  2. Nuts
  3. Banana
  4. 70% Dark Chocolate
  5. Green Tea

Oats are a slow release carbohydrate that helps regulate your digestive system.  As it is a slow release food stuff, it helps regulate your blood sugar levels so you don’t get the peaks and troughs associated with high sugary foods like ice cream.  Oats are also rich in vitamin B known to help stabalise your mood.

Nuts are a protein so can boost your energy levels, which always helps when feeling stressed as lack of energy is one of the signs of becoming stressed.  The nutrients in several nuts can help protect your body from some of the damaging physical effects of being stressed.  Nuts contain vitamins B and E. and trace elements like magnesium and arginine.  Vitamin E is considered a brain food that helps the brain process thoughts. Vitamin B improves the neural health in the brain.

Bananas are rich in potassium and we need potassium to regulate our blood pressure.  Like oats, bananas also helps control your blood sugar levels and also like oats the banana also is a carbohydrate and has a relaxing effect on the body as it produces serotonin – a hormone that helps calm the nerves.

70% Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants.  All chocolate is well known for releasing endorphins and raising serotonin levels.  However, it is only the 70% cocoa dark chocolate that has the desired effect for reducing our stress levels

Green Tea is also rich in antioxidants and the amino acid, theanine.  Green tea is pretty much the only source of theanine which is known to promote relaxation without sedation.

One last point to remember, whilst these five food stuffs help you deal with stress, all things should be met with moderation.  No diet will help you pay your credit card bill on time or meet your mortgage payments; these foods will give you the edge in dealing with the physical effect those stresses cause in you.  So we are talking about a square of chocolate and not the whole bar; a small handful of nuts not the whole pack.

If you are already incorporating these foods into your diet and still feeling stressed, maybe it is time to consider adding in some stress busting physical therapies.  Therapies like Reflexology, massage and Indian Head Massage all reduce the stress levels in your body and give you space to see and do what you need to do to remove the stressor altogether.