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Ease stress and beat those blues!

Posted 8/20/2015

The latest research backs up what we’ve thought all along—food does influence mood, stress level, energy level, the sleep-wake cycle, and mental function. Use this quick reference guide to help you beat stress, build energy, and lift your mood—without expanding your waistline.

For easing stress and lifting the blues, try low-fat, low-calorie complex carbohydrate-rich foods like vegetable bean soup; air-popped popcorn; toast with jam; colorful vegetables and fruits such as melon, berries, peppers, and winter squash; and think whole grain—pasta, bread, and crackers. If you crave sweets, eat small amounts and balance them with healthful influences like turkey on a whole-wheat roll, low-fat cheese and crackers, or low-fat yogurt topped with nuts.

For building energy try eating smaller, regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Be sure to make time for breakfast and include a source of protein like an egg, peanut butter, yogurt or fat-free milk. Avoid high-sugar, low-nutrient-dense foods as often as possible. Not only do they provide excessive calories, but they also provide only short-term energy causing that “crash” not long after eating them.

Email or call Susan Lednicky, Nutritionist with Clark County Cooperative Extension, at 702-257-5548.

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