What to eat to relieve stress and stay alert

Cyprus

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Dark chocolate and bananas help relieve my stress. Peanuts or even peanut butter helps to keep me alert during the long and boring meetings that need my full concentration. Apples also help to keep me full for longer hence eat less and stay focused for longer. What works for you, other suggestions are welcome.
 

jillyan10

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Yes, I have to say that eating chocolate can help in relieving the stress that we have to deal with. I do eat chocolate as well, but I am not a fan of the dark chocolates which tastes like coffee or something bitter. I eat milk chocolates and more. Also, eating fresh fruits can be good as well and can make you feel rejuvenated.
 
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kim1984

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For me when I'm stressed I also like bananas, and almonds. Something about that crunch is just stress relieving for me! I also hear you about the nut butters - they give me an energy boost and tend to help re-focus me too. Every time I've been working in an office situation I've always had some variety of nut butter stashed away in my drawer for when I would lose focus or get tired and snacky. It's the perfect pick-me-up!
 

Laura

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Anything that is packed with protein is always a great energy booster for me. Peanut butter toast and hard boiled eggs are a couple of my favorites. I know it's a beverage, but green tea is in my daily routine. It may be a placebo effect for me considering the caffeine is pretty low, but I always feel so refreshed after my cup of tea in the morning!
 
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Great suggestions! I love to eat bananas when I feel depressed, as I love to eat them anytime of the day!

Howeve trying to find a variety to cope with those mood swings that stress produce, I found this recommendation I want to share with you:
Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shitake Salad

Fights depression and anxiety. Quinoa’s not only an awesome vegan protein source; it’s also a complex carbohydrate that can help prevent depression and anxiety by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. And beyond the mood-boosting B vitamins in spinach, mushrooms are a source of selenium, a compound that may help fight depression . This superfood-packed salad's got all the goods!

Yes! I tried it and does not only help me with stress relief, but also is tasty.
 

Sally

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That Quinoa salad sounds lovely. I have found salted peanuts are very good at keeping migraines away which, for me, are usually caused by stress and/or tiredness.
 
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winter.frost

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Dark chocolate will be helping because of the theobromine, an addictive compound that is related to caffeine that also stimulates pleasure receptors in the brain (it actually breaks down into the same metabolites as marijuana). Truth is, theobromine is actually a poison. Nobody likes to talk about chocolate being poisonous, but it is. However people rarely eat enough of it to experience theobroma poisoning but it does happen and its an addictive substance too. Generally speaking I try to limit chocolate and counsel people away from consuming anything containing addictive compounds.

As for stress, there have been studies that have shown that people with higher fruit consumption generally experience more stable moods. Keeping very well hydrated is also very important, as is exercise and good sleep. Not only good sleep, but habitual sleep patterns.

Valerian is a herb that can help with stress but it also can make a person feel drowsy, which is why most take it shortly before sleep. Lavender also helps with stress (aromatherapy). Hawthorn tea can also help.

I don't follow the reasoning behind eating more salt to alleviate stress. Not only does sodium cause water retention it also elevates blood pressure. I would avoid anything with salt, personally.
 

Blueberry

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I used to get very tense/stressed before giving lectures or presentations and the best thing for me was a combination of:

Drinking water
Eating bananas
Eating slow energy release foods such as porridge oats
Avoiding all caffeine
Avoiding processed sugary foods
Avoiding chocolate
Avoiding salt
Exercise

I also took rescue remedy and calm tablets before some situations. Whether they helped or not is questionable- but even if the placebo effect occurred I'd be happy.
 

Krish Jay

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Lemon water does it for me...

It makes me feel like the lemon cuts through any brain fog and makes me more alert.

Maybe you guys are anti-caffeine, but of course, good quality coffee makes me feel very alert ;)
 
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Sally

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I agree sugar is not good for you, I feel one hundred percent better when I avoid sugar. I sleep better so am more alert, much less stressed, although it can cheer me up and sometimes I put it on cereal before I go to bed as it makes me sleep better, so it's not all bad.

However, I believe salt is essential, we need it. Maybe we did come out of the sea. When my father was staying with my brother, where salt, and taste, was left out of everything, the doctor prescribed a packet of ready salted crisps for him every night as he was suffering from salt deficiency. Saline drips save peoples lives, I have heard that the lack of salt will kill you before the lack of water will. Apparently salt tablets were provided to some troops during the war. Generations got by fine on a diet that included salt, I'm sixty, healthy and wouldn't consider cutting back, in cooking or otherwise.

My understanding is that the salt the media are talking about is that in processed foods and ready meals, very little of what I eat or was brought up on. That has mostly been replaced with sugar, I can taste it. I have no problem with cooking vegetables in salted water or putting salt on a meal, the former brings out the taste of the veggies and the latter is up to personal taste and what your body is asking for.

I think salt in moderation is fine, as is most things. Listening to your body and recognising it's needs is the most important thing. When I am in danger of a migraine I have discovered that nibbling salted peanuts is a better prevention than the chocolate I used to have. For me salt and protein works better than sugar.

I acknowledge that I am lucky, so far, not to have any serious medical problems that diet exacerbates.
 

fzjohnson

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I cannot imagine what it must've been like to have been brought up on ready meals. If anyone who is reading this, was, my heart goes out to you. I have heard they are a challenge to give up and that cravings can occur years later.
I am training myself to lean on ice cream (vegan - no egg, no dairy) as my "go to" treat and it is definitely working. Ice cream ingredients - frozen bananas, cocoa powder or other fruit, squeeze of citrus, all blended like crazy into a soft serve.
Black coffee is also another staple. Occasionally I swap it for rooibus tea. And plain crisps ... like you, I love the crunch factor. I don't have a problem with salt either ... though I'm a doubting Thomas with all those posh salts from differently polluted - I mean "mineralised" - salt pan areas. I guess you'd have to consume a great deal for these to affect you anyway.