When our worrisome thoughts go into overdrive, the body’s natural response is to release stress fighting hormones such as cortisol and elevated levels of cortisol can affect your mood as well as your weight. It may increase fat storage, especially in your belly, says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies.
One way to restore your inner peace is to drink a glass of vitamin -C- loaded drink. Studies have found that foods rich in vitamin C can help decrease the production of cortisol, helping to lessen the impact it has on your body when under stress. One German study even found that giving nervous public speakers 1,00mg of vitamin C helped them feel calmer.
This healthy, hearty breakfast food does more than just warm your belly. “The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal stimulate the release of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone that helps reduce stress in your brain,” says registered dietitian and Nutritious Life founder Keri Glassman. Plus , numerous studies have shown that oatmeal may reduce the risk for elevated blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.
Oh, yes, it’s true. “The polyphenols and flavonols in dark chocolate help lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm” says Glassman. A group of German researchers gathered 30 study volunteers whose anxiety levels (rated either high or low) were first determined by a psychological questionnaire. After two weeks of eating 1.5 oz of dark chocolate daily,researchers found that cortisol levels in the highly anxious adults decreased, while other stress related imbalances improved as well. So even science agrees chocolate makes everything seem a little better.