The easy food hack that could keep your stress levels in check


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If your body is pretty much always hovering around Level 10 on the stress scale, you’re not alone. Sure, daily meditation sessions and yoga classes help, but all it takes is one overly aggressive email from your boss to get your heart pounding at full-speed once again. Even though there will always be stressors in your life (womp, womp), there are some smart techniques you can use to keep your levels in check—and one of them involves grabbing your jar of nut butter. Seriously.

At last night’s Well+Good TALKS: Generation Anxiety event at The Assemblage NoMad in New York City, holistic psychiatrist Ellen Vora, MD, let listeners in on a potentially game-changing secret: A lot of of the stress and anxiety you feel throughout the day is actually linked to your blood sugar. “These days, we go into a stress response too readily, and one of the things that puts the body into a stress response is a blood sugar crash,” she said. “So many of us are walking around hangry, and if you really start to trace your symptoms with anxiety or panic attacks, it’s usually around the time of the day when you’re going through a blood sugar crash.”

“So many of us are walking around hangry, and if you really start to trace your symptoms with anxiety or panic attacks, it’s usually around the time of the day when you’re going through a blood sugar crash.” —Ellen Vora, MD

According to Dr. Vora, this is why many people often experience stress or anxiety in the middle of the afternoon, as well as first thing in the morning—those times are when your body’s blood sugar level is at its lowest. To combat the problem, Dr. Vora said you need to make sure your blood sugar stays stabilized during the day. While there are over-arching dietary changes she recommends—eating nutrient-dense foods that have lots of protein and healthy fats, for starters—if you’re not quite ready to overhaul your entire lifestyle, Dr. Vora keeps a simple trick up her sleeve–or, rather, in her desk drawer: “Take a spoonful of coconut oil or almond butter every few hours at regular intervals so you can keep your blood sugar stable,” she says.

Honestly, no one needs an excuse to dig right into a jar of nut butter with a spoon. But now knowing that delicious treat is also an easy way to keep your stress levels in check just makes it all the more satisfying.

Special thanks to Caldrea, The School of Life, Love Wellness, Pukka Herbs, Urban Moonshine, and Sunday Scaries for providing the amazing treats our guests took home from the TALK. And a thank you to The Assemblage for hosting us. 

Here’s how Arianna Huffington course-corrects stress in just one minute. Or, find out the most common reasons you’re stressed—and why it’s literally keeping you up at night.

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