Eight years ago, journalist Anna Magee came to nutritional therapist Charlotte Watts desperate for a diet and fitness plan that would help relieve stress while shedding excess pounds. Today, Magee and Watts are the authors behind The De-Stress Diet, a lifestyle plan for losing weight by getting rid of chronic stress, released in January.
“The book looks at diet and lifestyle in a modern way that hasn’t been covered before,” said Watts, who is also a yoga teacher of five years. “It doesn’t give you a prescriptive, one-size fits all regimen, but helps you find out what suits you as an individual by helping to investigate your own default lifestyle.”
In addition to eating well, Watts says you should pay attention to the way you breathe, keep yourself active, and most importantly, give yourself time to rest. Stress isn’t always a bad thing—it can often be motivating—but overwhelming anxiety becomes damaging when we don’t give ourselves enough recovery time.
To stay healthy by keeping calm, Magee and Watts helped us compile a list of 10 foods with properties shown to repair and protect your body from the effects of long-term stress. “These foods provide nutrients like B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium that we tend to use up really quickly in response to stress. Many also have therapeutic benefits like balancing blood sugar and staving off stress-induced cravings for sugary foods,” said Watts.