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!


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)

Battle Belly Fat

Josh BezoniDieting is difficult. The commitment to a new lifestyle carries a promise of future improvements, but only after committing all of yourself to the task. The stress of dieting can bring its own collection of lovely disruptions to your lifestyle by clouding your judgement, aging you prematurely, and even cause inflammation where you’re so desperately trying to shrink. Combating stress is the first step to setting yourself on a path to success, and more importantly, keep you from relapsing into old habits. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to stop stress from getting in your way.

Directly linked to cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, fat can gather around your stomach and waist as a result of being over-stressed. Beyond all the benefits of living to avoid stress, a managed system of meditative breathing exercises can even help battle your belly fat. Using a technique called “Deep Belly Breathing,” the practitioner is able to manage their body’s production of cortisol through deep breaths and relaxation. By calming bodily functions, the brain naturally produces a chemical called melatonin. Melatonin, as opposed to cortisol, is a hormone suited to regulate sleep cycles, fight aging, and reduces the production of cortisol. All that’s necessary is that you follow these simple steps:

  • Find a dark and quiet space for you to sit in. Melatonin production is motivated by being in dark places, hence it’s common release prior to sleep.
  • Start performing meditative breathing cycles with your hand on your stomach. Breath in through your nose and feel your stomach expand with the fresh air.
  • Finally, exhale through the mouth to a count of five. Use this breath to focus on voiding that space you just felt fill. Repeat this activity for 5-10 minutes each night for a week and results will make themselves apparent.

Focusing your mind on such a simple task is meant to empty your mind of all stress, and drastically reduce your cortisol levels. Not only does this exercise place your body in a healthy cycle of stress management, it helps to increase your energy levels, bolster your immune system and improve reaction time. For as little as five minutes a day, you can fight fat and stress with these simple steps. For more on the topic, follow this link!

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.