South Beach Diet - Foods to Eat When You're Stressed!!!

02-18-2008, 09:57 AM
Feeling like this? -----> :stress:

Try eating foods that will actually reduce your stress (as opposed to eating so-called "comfort foods" that just leave you feeling guilty and sick :p )! Here's a totally SBD-friendly list of foods that calm you down when you're stressed out (, from I thought it was awesome!!! :D

02-18-2008, 10:11 AM
Fish has a calming effect.

02-18-2008, 12:17 PM
;) Why eat? Kava Kava works for me and it's 0 calories.

02-18-2008, 02:27 PM
I was curious about what Kava kava was so I googled. Looks like you need to be careful with it.

Kava, or kava kava, is the term used for both the plant and the beverage made from it. The beverage is prepared from the root of a shrub called the pepper plant, Piper methysticum, found in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. The kava root is ground to a powder, and it has a brownish color. The brownish powder is then mixed with water and drank as a beverage, without being fermented. Extracts from the kava root are placed in capsules and sold as kava or kava kava.
Additional herbs and nutrients involved in relaxation include passionflower, tryptophan, 5-HTP, ashwagandha, lemon balm, theanine, and valerian. See the link at the top of this page ( an index. I don't recommend the use of kava in children or by teenagers. Kava should only be used by healthy adults, and only occasionally.

CAUTION: Kava is not the type of supplement, like vitamin C, that you take every day. At most use one kava capsule three times a week and take a full week off each month. In fact, it is preferable to use kava no more than two times a week. Kava use on a daily basis can harm the liver. In rare cases, daily kava kava use can lead to severe liver harm that may result in total liver failure. Good Night Rx is a sleep formula that has kava kava and should not be taken together with other kava products. Do not take a kava supplement if you are taking medications that can harm the liver, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or statin drugs for cholesterol such as Lipitor, Zocor, and others. Do not take a kava kava supplement if you have any kind of liver disease. Do not take kava if you drink alcohol.

02-18-2008, 04:03 PM
Thanks, Barb! :hug: Can you list the link to the page where you got the information? There are some directs in the info to links on that page--if we know where to go, we can get the other info. Plus, it helps us keep away from any "copyright infringement" stuff (love my "official" legal terminology? ;) ).

pamatga, I have a dear friend that tried Kava Kava for a while and had some really bad problems with it. Unfortunately, it was over 7 years ago and I don't remember the details, but I do remember the mental note I made to never use it. Of course, that's my extreme reaction! ;)

The FDA has issued a warning ( the effects of Kava on the liver. This website ( some clear information about the possible side effects of Kava, what meds may interact, and also notes that:

In 2003, a review by the Cochrane Collaboration examined the existing research to see how kava fared compared to a placebo in treating anxiety. After analyzing the 11 studies (involving a total of 645 people) that met the criteria, the researchers concluded that kava "appears to be an effective symptomatic treatment option for anxiety." However, they added that it seemed to be a small effect [bolding mine].

The thing about herbs is that not only are many of the possible side effects untested or unknown (depending on how you use them and what else you use alongside...), but the drug interactions can be a very dangerous problem. If you're thinking about using an herbal supplement, please talk with at least a pharmacist, if not your doctor, to see if you can use them with what you're currently taking (including vitamins, other supplements, and over-the-counter meds you take regularly). I was really scared after I read about the interactions with St. John's Wort ( (see "Other Drugs" paragraph at that link and check here ( more). I used it for about 2 years a while ago and had stopped, thankfully, before that information came out, because when I stopped, I started two medications that would have interacted with it. :fr:

So, this long-winded response to your post, pamatga, is meant to say, basically, that (at least for me) it makes more sense to try to reduce stress in ways that are most unlikely to have side effects. Food would be one of those ways--at least for most of us. Obviously there are always exceptions. :)

02-18-2008, 05:02 PM
Ummm, I read this post this morning and something kept nagging at me. AND, I thank you Laurie for the list. It is a good and healthy list.
BUT, as someone who has abused food as a stress reliever, I find now that I am trying to find a healthier way of coping with stress that does NOT involve food at all. Like, playing some favorite music, dancing, reading a book, walking, cleaning out a drawer or cupboard, watching an HGTV show or calling a friend to talk.
Another BUT, I do think I can use this list as a resource for times when I know I will be stressed and plan those foods into my menu. Or, possibly daily choosing at least one of those foods to help prevent stress due to their calming effects.

02-18-2008, 05:08 PM
P.S.--anything that advises me to eat more guacamole and dark chocolate MUST be right!

02-18-2008, 06:31 PM
Laurie - Here is the URL I'm not sure if it is the best source but several pages seem to have similar information. The sites lists a lot more information than what I included. I know some herbs are wonderful (I took some when breastfeeding myself) but I do know you have to be careful.

02-18-2008, 11:06 PM
A hot cup of green tea works for me.

02-19-2008, 06:39 AM
I agree with skinny on this one... I'm finding myself less stressed when I work out! :) Actually, if I know I'm stressed I go for a walk, that has more calming effect then anything I know... of course that walk SHOULD be outside! The fresh air does more for a body than we know!

02-19-2008, 07:51 AM
PS... Don't take me wrong ladies, I'm a gorger, stress eater like anyone else! I'm trying to stop myself and ask "why am I hungry? Why am I eating?" And to be honest, sometimes it's stress, nervousness, or more so...BOREDOM!!!! So, in my attempt (not yet successful mind you) to stop this, I'm attempting to make lists of projects.. Bored? do something, walk, work on photo album, bible study, anything but eat just because I'm bored! (yet another reason to get rid of TV..)

02-20-2008, 01:04 PM
Thanks, Barb! :hug: You're awesome! I added the link to your post. Hope that's okay!

Oh, I agree with you on both points, Karla! (especially about the avocado and dark chocolate! :devil: ) Like Loriann pointed out, it's a GREAT idea to find other ways of coping with stress than by eating. :yes: Thanks for pointing that out--it's really important! I like what you were saying about planning these foods into our diet if we know things will be stressful or we're having a continuing stressful period (like when a loved one is seriously ill or we're getting ready for a big holiday). Not eating these kinds of food in addition to our plan, but making them part of our regular meals.

I totally agree with the suggestions you wise ones have all offerred for alternatives to eating when stressed. I think exercise is one of the best--not only does it help with stress, but it really helps depression too! A study done a little while ago found that out of three groups of depressed people (people just taking anti-depressants, people taking anti-depressants and exercising, and people who were just exercising), the people who just exercised felt the best overall! Isn't that cool? :D

I'm literally always stressed and have been for years. It's not healthy and I'm working on trying to fix it. But I was thinking about that when I posted the original post--it's a continuous situation for me, so I just figured it might be helpful to use more of these foods in my diet in place of others that might be doing little to help me. :shrug: But I can totally see where it might sound like we're condoning eating as a way to handle stress--and that's not a good idea. Thanks, chicks, for making sure this was clear! :grouphug: