Connect with us


Snack Your Stress Away With These Expert-Recommended Foods | The Optimist Daily




The word STRESS spelled out of alphabet cereal pieces and berries floating in milk.

Jess Cording, R.D., CDN, a registered dietitian, developed a taste for butter after her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “For some reason, one of the foods I really wanted to eat all the time was radishes cooked in butter,” she told MindBodyGreen. “It was the most random thing.” She goes on to say that it’s a common physiological response to crave high-fat, high-energy foods when stressed (hence her fondness for butter), and your body may physically crave certain nutrients when facing emotional hardship.

Cording’s newest book, The Farewell Tour: A Caregiver’s Guide to Stress Management, Sane Nutrition, and Better Sleep, is a great resource for families dealing with terminal illness—or anyone going through emotionally straining times. “Having a balance of protein, fat, [and] complex carbohydrates spread through the day, limiting sugar…those things were huge for me,” she says.

Below, you’ll read about the particular kinds of food that Cording says are the best to eat to help your body deal with stress.


“I really got into frozen berries,” Cording reveals. “I think I was just craving the antioxidants.” Berries are high in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. A 2017 clinical trial discovered that the flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) in wild blueberries were linked to improved positive mood—both children and adults reported a better mood two hours after consumption.

Berries are also high in vitamin C, which can help to stabilize cortisol levels. Adrenal glands, in particular, have high concentrations of vitamin C, and eating these foods can feed the adrenal glands while keeping cortisol levels balanced.


You may be aware of the brain benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know that eating enough omega-3 fatty acids can actually help stimulate your vagus nerve (which, in turn, helps you deal with stress better)? According to a 2011 scientific review published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, omega-3 fatty acids can help increase vagal tone and support a healthy parasympathetic nervous response by regulating heart rate variability (HRV). Cording suggests snacking on sardines as they are rich in omega-3s! 

If you eat the bones, sardines are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, minerals, and calcium. “Those omega-3s are so soothing to our nervous systems, and the olive oil, also, has so many antioxidants and healthy fats,” Cording adds.

Fermented foods

Due to the gut-brain connection, or gut-brain axis, any gut-healthy food is also brain-healthy. Cording prefers “a lot of fermented foods [and] prebiotic-rich foods” to help balance her stress levels because the gut directly affects the brain.

Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi, naturally contain probiotics and prebiotic fiber, and probiotics have been shown to improve people’s stress responses due to the aforementioned gut-brain axis.

Get curious about your cravings

When you are under emotional or physical stress, your body may crave specific nutrients. When cravings strike, don’t ignore them— if you want to indulge in a decadent treat occasionally, go ahead. Cording suggests going even further by getting curious: “I do encourage thinking about what specifically about that food is appealing,” she says. “Is it a texture, a flavor, or a nutrient that you desperately require? That can give you some ideas for healthier versions you could try to satisfy your craving.”

The post Snack your stress away with these expert-recommended foods first appeared on The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News.


How Communities Are Saving The UK’s Live Music Venues From Closure





Continue Reading


Scientists Improve Cervical Cancer Prediction With New Test | The Optimist Daily





Happy women laughing and hugging each other outdoors in a city

Great news! A more accurate test for cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer has just been developed by scientists.

The groundbreaking test can also detect DNA markers for some other common cancers, implying that it could be used as a predictive test for breast, womb, cervical, and ovarian cancer in the future.

The researchers behind the test previously demonstrated that by using cervical cells from a routine smear test, they may be able to detect or predict the development of ovarian and breast cancer.

The expert team has now revealed that when used to screen for cervical cancer, the new test outperforms current methods in identifying women with advanced cell changes who require treatment.

How much better is the new test?

It detected 55% of those who would have cell changes in the next four years in those who did not have cell changes but had human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes the majority of cases of cervical cancer. The findings were published in Genome Medicine.

“This new method is more specific and doesn’t lead to over-treatment, which is good news for cervical cancer prevention and great news for everyone who needs to be screened,” said Athena Lamnisos, the chief executive of the Eve Appeal charity.

“It’s so welcome to see screening tools and predictive tests becoming more effective. We want to prevent cancer – and we know with cervical cancer that we can intervene at an early stage.”

Each year, approximately 3,200 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in the UK alone, with approximately 850 deaths. Half of all women with the disease live for ten years or longer.

How does the new test work?

Experts led by the University of Innsbruck and University College London (UCL) examined DNA methylation, which acts as an extra layer of information on top of DNA, in their most recent study.

DNA contains all of the genes that people inherit from both parents, whereas DNA methylation instructs cells on which bits of DNA to read.

Smoking, pollution, a poor diet, and being overweight can all alter these markers and alter how the cell behaves. Scientists believe they can detect cancer and possibly predict someone’s risk of developing cancer in the future by closely studying DNA methylation.

The new study included 1,254 cervical screening samples from women who had cell changes ranging from low to high risk, women who had HPV but no cervical cell changes, and samples from women who had no cervical cell changes but developed high-risk cell changes within four years.

“Vaccination against the virus that causes cervical cancer is now widely implemented and is leading to changes in the amount and types of virus circulating in the community,” said Prof Martin Widschwendter of UCL’s department of women’s cancer. As a result, the approaches to cervical screening must evolve in order for programs to continue to be beneficial.

“Building new, holistic, risk-predictive screening programs around existing, effective cervical sample collection offers real potential for cancer prevention in the future.”

Source study: Genome Medicine— The WID-CIN test identifies women with and at risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 and invasive cervical cancer

The post Scientists improve cervical cancer prediction with new test first appeared on The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News.

Continue Reading


How The Taboo Around The Menopause Is Finally Being Busted





Continue Reading