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Stress-eating: How to do it healthily

Let’s face it, stress can come at the most inconvenient of times and it doesn’t help that it’s detrimental to our health. Something that a lot of us are guilty of is ‘stress-eating’. Oftentimes these snacks/meals are comprised of take-aways or other unhealthy choices. 
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, is helpful to your body’s fight-or-flight instinct, but in the long-term, too much cortisol can create stress and lead to inflammation as well as higher blood pressure. Managing stress is the first treatment to lower your cortisol levels.
Do you find yourself grabbing a chocolate or candies, crisps, caffeinated drinks, or something similar when you feel stressed? If so, you’re not alone, but remember that these cause stress rather than relieving it (even though they taste good). Believe it or not, there are actually foods that you can eat that taste good and decrease your stress/anxiety levels (as well as your cortisol levels) at the same time! It’s all in the Mediterranean diet… In the spirit of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we’ve compiled a bit of advice from the Cleveland Clinic about how to stress-eat the healthy way. Here’s another tip… Whatever you choose, try to have it raw, cooked, boiled, poached, or roasted.
Foods high in vitamin B (Help with the metabolism of cortisol)
  • Beef 
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acid (Reduce inflammation)
  • Avocados
  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Tuna
  • Flax seeds
Magnesium-rich foods (Reduce inflammation, assist with metabolizing cortisol, and relax both the body and mind)
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate (90% cacao)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
Protein-rich foods (Promote balanced blood sugar levels)
  • Almonds
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey breast
  • Eggs
  • Lean beef
  • Peanuts
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
Gut-healthy foods (Balance blood sugar and reduce cholesterol)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
We’ll leave you with one last bit of advice: Stress can’t be predicted, but we know that it’s likely to happen at one time or another, so be prepared for it rather than become frustrated that you need to boil an egg, cut up salmon, or make a salad in just a few minutes when all that you’re looking for is something quick to grab. Try to set aside a few minutes each day (or a bit longer once a week) to prepare snacks made up of the foods listed above, so that they’re readily accessible in your time of need.
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