Great Foods That Alleviate Stress

Being a human being is a difficult task, especially when you have stress from work, family, friends or other external circumstances that have a negative affect on how you operate sometimes. But, there is some awesome news–believe it or not, there are some foods out there that actually help with stress. You heard me right! Healthy, delicious food that will make you feel better about whatever forms of stress are affecting your day to day life.


In addition to being an awesome insoluble fiber (lowers cholesterol and overall glycemic index), oatmeal is a great start to decrease stress. This breakfast food is a healthy choice to decrease belly fat while using serotonin for a calming solution to sooth any anxiety.


German researchers found that consuming Vitamin C actually reduces elevations in cortisol, which is the most common stress hormone in your body. Oranges are also awesome for maintaining your system’s immune system and fighting sickness.


Omega-3 anyone? Fish like salmon is a great nutritional source to reduce stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from increasing when faced with a situation that really gets under your skin. A study at Ohio State University highlighted the fact that omega-3 fatty acids decrease anxiety by 20%. Pass that fish over!


Due to their high potassium content, avocados have been shown to help reduce stress-related high blood pressure. These creamy gems contain more potassium than bananas–who would have thought right?


Broccoli contains folic acid, a vitamin that has been proven to reduce not only stress,  but also anxiety, panic, and depression. Not to mention that there are also a great source fiber any time of day.


Nothing says relief like almonds, right? These gems are loaded with a ton of vitamins that increase serotonin to help relieve stress or anxiety.The zinc and magnesium combination in these nuts has been shown shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and improving its overall quality. I mean no one wants to fall asleep at their desk in their morning, right?


Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries are also rich in Vitamin C and also help reduce elevations in cortisol. These berries not only taste delicious, but also have a very low glycemic index which is a great plus!


How You Can Pull The Plug On Your Emotional Eating

Image of Emotional EatingOne of the best things about living in today’s society is that technology has made information infinitely more accessible that it once was. For people passionate about learning and embracing better eating habits, the data is right there at your fingertips. The answers to most of your health and fitness questions are only ever just a few clicks away. However, when it comes to our eating habits, there is usually much more at play than just logic. Emotional eating, when you consume for a purpose beyond simple sustenance, can be incredibly disastrous for any diet plan.

The most common cause of emotional eating is poorly managed stress. When there is too much on your plate, whether it be in the office or at home, you may have been conditioned to use a special treat to escape momentarily. The foods we enjoy most as distractions are, unfortunately, almost always exactly the ones that are most likely to expand our waistlines dramatically. This reflex needs to be recognized and remedied if you are serious about taking control of your health.

Stress will most certainly remain a part of every person’s life in some shape or form. We all deal with it in a regular basis. So, the question is not whether we will tackle stress, but how we will choose to do so. You can choose to face it head-on in either a negative or positive way. Choose the right way by actively embracing better ways to process stress when it pops up. Otherwise, you are liable to reflexively fall back into negative coping habits…like binge eating junk food, for example. Here are two popular, effective ways to smash those sorts of poor responses to stress in favor of much healthier options.

Get Moving

One of the tell-tale signs of stress is a heaviness on your mind. Your many responsibilities can sometimes feel like they are weighing you down, perhaps even physically. The best thing to do, then, is literally shake it off and get going. Break away from that sense of being burden by moving! This can mean going for a long walk, a jog, or even a drive. Exercising when you are stressed has two major benefits – on the one hand, you have some time and space to process the inputs that are stressing you out. On the other, chances are you will be so busy working through your thoughts that you will barely register the good things that are happening for your body with this impromptu workout. The endorphins that start pumping are an added benefit. If you cannot move yourself, then hop in the car and go for a calming drive.

Nod Your Head To Some Jams

Almost everyone loves music. The exact type of music that gets you going is likely to vary considerably from person to person, but the important thing is that you have something you enjoy. Music by itself has the power to alter your state of mind and take you away from your problems, but when you combine it with movement you are sure to leave your problems in the dust.

3 Ways to Reduce This Belly Fat Producing Hormone

Belly-Fat-PictureYou know you have hormones, that men and women have slightly different hormones, and that hormone balance is important for your emotional and physical health, but do you really know what hormones are or what they are supposed to do? In scientific terms, hormones are signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs in order to regulate physiology and behaviour.

In laymen’s terms, hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to reach your tissues or organs and tell them what to do. They affect many different processes, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and mood. Your glands (such as your pituitary, pineal, and thyroid) produce these hormones. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries.

Hormones are powerful messengers, and it takes only a tiny amount of them to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body. That’s why too much or too little of a particular hormone can cause serious health problems.

One hormone you’ve probably heard of before is cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone your body releases in response to stress.

When your body produces cortisol, it functions to increase your blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate, as well as decrease bone formation. Unfortunately, high levels of cortisol have been linked to increased levels of abdominal fat. If you are holding onto a little extra weight around your midsection, too much cortisol could be to blame.

Want to reduce cortisol and get rid of excess belly fat? Here are 3 things you can start doing today:

1. Work less. New research shows that if you work 48+ hours per week, your likelihood of consuming excess alcohol goes up dramatically. Stress and alcohol consumption both increase levels of cortisol which in turn tell your body to store more fat around your midsection. Not to mention how the extra calories you’re receiving from those drinks is also going to cost you once you hit the scale. Trimming back your working hours while choosing exercise for stress relief (instead of alcohol) will work wonders for your stress levels and your waistline.

2. Don’t consume caffeine after 6 PM. When you consume caffeine at night, it’s likely to affect the quality of your sleep. Quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential for cortisol reduction. Opt for caffeine free tea instead. You’ll wake more refreshed after a good nights sleep, and your body will have lowered your levels of cortisol over the course of the night.

3. Take time to “unplug.” A recent study out of Canada showed that those who were constantly in contact with technology (TV, smart phones, computers, etc) throughout their day showed significantly higher symptoms of stress than those who took time to “unplug” during designated times each day. As you know, stress means your body is creating more cortisol. Schedule device-free time every day to unwind and relax.

It might sound difficult to incorporate these three pieces of advice if you have a hectic work schedule that requires you to work long hours, stay up late, and sit at a computer most of the time. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t start incorporating these things in small ways. Start with a few 5-minute breaks throughout your day where you close your eyes, and step away from your computer. Remember:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu; Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

The Surprising Nighttime Habit that Could Shred Your Belly Fat Hormone

When it comes to healthy living, there are certain component of the lifestyle at the even the most casual fitness fan probably recognizes. Eliminating things like overly processed foods, being aware of your calorie intake, and exercising regularly all probably come to mind. However, seriously improving your body composition revolves around much more than simply eating right and staying fit. There are other inputs you may not even be considering which can severely alter your ability to accomplish certain goals like weight loss. There is one foe to fitness that goes widely unrecognized and undervalued as a threat – stress.

The simple truth is that stress is unavoidable and part of each and every human’s life. However, as it increases, the effects are both undeniable and detrimental. Stress is associated with a whole host of physical ailments and qualities of health deterioration, ranging from inflammation to accelerated aging. It even potentially clouds judgement, leading to poor decision making skills, unfulfilling relationships, and an inability to sleep properly. In its most brutal form, too much stress in your life will weaken your mind and body, making your heavier, more likely to take ill, and less sharp.

To investigate this troubling relationship between stress and health, a research team from the University of California at San Francisco conducted a study. They identified a direct correlation between the body’s dominant stress hormone, cortisol, and both worsened decision making AND belly fat accumulation. As such, it is clearly a priority for any fitness-minded individual to combat stress and its detrimental effects however possible. Luckily, there is one simple habit you can adopt that has the ability to transform the way you interpret and handle stress in your life. This will lead to increased relaxation and an improvement in your body’s ability to fight fat.

“Deep belly breathing” actually overcomes your body’s natural response to stress and reduces cortisol in favor of increasing melatonin, which is the hormone that controls sleep and defend against the effects of the aging process. Simply make a habit of the following:

1. Locate a nice, quiet room with minimal to no light. Sit or lie down and place a hand on your stomach.

2. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose and be aware of how your hand rises on your stomach.

3. Exhale slowly in as long and steady of a manner as you can. Shoot for lasting at least five seconds per exhalation.

Just five to ten minutes of this every evening has been note dot significantly improve health, energy, and even your waistline.

How to Stop Stress Eating

exercise jogging SSEmotional or stress eating as it is often called can be devastating and entirely derail the most ardent of dieters. You have probably done this at one point in your life. You get stressed, whether it is from work or another source, and you end up eating an entire carton of ice cream. While it is an understandable way to vent your problems, we can all agree that this is not helping you achieve your goal of a healthier body and lifestyle.

The problem lies in how we cope in stress and not stress itself. This is because, given the hectic nature of modern life, stress is simply unavoidable. When experiencing stress, we can either choose to deal with it in a positive or negative manner. We are here to teach you how to choose the latter.

First, you have to recognize that you will become stressed and then make an effective and positive action plan on how you will deal with it. If you don’t have a plan, you will inevitably end up binge eating a pack of your favorite cookies.

Everyone has different interests and there are, therefore, a number of effective ways to positively cope with stress. Here are a few that I have found useful.

Go outside and go for a long walk, run, or drive. These activities allow your brain to think. Often times, people forget that they are even exercising and run miles before realizing how far they have run. Furthermore, running release endorphins that can effectively clear your mind and soothe your stress.

Another great way to cope with stress is to listen to some of your favorite music. Music can help your mind think more clearly and calm you down. Furthermore, it’s even more effective if paired with one of the activities above. These aren’t the only solutions for dealing with stress, but simply the ones that work for me.

Snack Your Way to a Stress-Free Tomorrow

Josh Bezoni Fruit that Help against stressOne of the best things you can do to establish a healthy eating pattern is to trade large meals filled with prepacked and overly processed food for a day jam-packed with snacking on healthy and unprocessed whole foods. Eating regularly helps keep your metabolism revved up and consuming energy (calories), which helps you shed weight and keep it off. You may be surprised to learn that certain snack not only can help you control your hunger and slim down, but also alter your state of mind. That includes positively impacting your stress levels and leading you to a more tranquil state of mind.


It is fairly common knowledge that oranges are extremely high in Vitamin C. The health benefits of that little fact as pertains to keeping your immune system high are well-documented. Beyond that fact, however, scientists have also found that vitamin C reduces the amount of coritsol in your system. Cortisol is the most significant stress hormone in your body, so keeping it under control is a big deal! Vitamin C can also reduce your blood pressure when you find yourself in a stressful environment. Oranges aren’t the only great source of Vitamin C though! When you are looking for a snack, consider peppers cantaloupe, or tomatoes!


These nuts make the ideal snack! They are a pleasant and portable bite for when you are on-the-go. In addition to being tasty, almonds are full of B vitamins, Vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. All of these are involved in your body’s production of serotonin. More specifically, studies have found that combining a healthy intake of both zinc and magnesium can even improve the quality of your sleep. This means you feel better and are more alert when you wake up!


These little guys have earned their reputation as a superfruit many times over. Blueberries contain so many antioxidants that they actually diminish the oxidative stress in the body. They are also super rich in Vitamin C. In addition, they are very low glycemic, so you can enjoy them at any time of the day.

Sandwich Toppings that Slam Stress

Josh Bezoni Sandwich PictureSometimes, there is nothing better to satiate your hunger pangs than a nice, delicious sandwich. It is a deeply ingrained facet of the American culinary landscape. Sandwiches come in all shapes and sizes, which is excellent news for the health-conscious. Individuals who care about their body composition will undoubtedly choose the right ingredients when constructing their ideal version of the treat. This means picking the appropriate bread, remaining wary of potentially disastrous toppings like certain cheeses and most condiments, as well as getting more than enough veggies and lean proteins. However, you may be surprised to find there are three fairly common sandwich fillings which do more than just help you slim down and stay healthy physically.

These three foods can actually help you eat your way to a calmer, more peaceful state of mind while avoiding gaining weight (as is liable to happen from falling back on your typical comfort foods!). You may even drop pounds while relieving stress.


Turkey is an excellent, healthy source of protein. It is a sandwich staple, available widely and affordably. Just be sure to pick the healthy, less-processed versions. In addition to a great amount of protein, turkey also contain an amino acid called L-tryptophan. This causes serotonin to release naturally in your body, which creates a more relaxed state. This may in fact explain why one of the most common courses after the Thanksgiving turkey is…a satisfied nap!


Salmon and similar fatty fish are jam-packed of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies indicate that these omega-3 fatty acids are able to positively impact stress levels and diminish them. For example, a study out of the Ohio State University discovered that they decrease anxiety by as much as 20%. A similar published study shows salmon prevent stress hormones coritsol and adrenaline from skyrocketing. This fish is good news for your stress management.


Because avocados are so rich in potassium, they actually are able to reduce stress-related high blood pressure. You might be surprised to learn that avocados contain more potassium per serving than bananas!