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Alleviate Stress with Atkins: Six foods that will help you beat the stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month, and many studies show that eating right and being active are very effective natural stress relievers. So, if you're following Atkins, you're off to a great start! Even better, many of the foods you eat on Atkins have stress-busting properties. If you haven't already, try stocking up on the following foods. Serenity awaits!

This Phase-1 veggie is full of folic acid, which has been shown to naturally boost your mood. Marinate in olive oil and salt and pepper and serve it grilled, or steam it and top with creamy homemade Hollandaise sauce.

Avocados. Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fat and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Plus the fat will keep your hunger at bay and your cravings satisfied. You can eat avocados on any Phase of Atkins. Try half an avocado with any meal, sliced on eggs or in a salad or mashed and seasoned with garlic, cilantro and jalapenos.

Salmon. Salmon is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline on an even keel. Omega-3 fatty acids also help protect against heart disease. You can grill, bake or broil salmon, and it's a great protein choice for any Phase of Atkins.

Spinach. Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help lower your stress levels. Spinach is perfect for any Phase of Atkins, and you can add it to your omelets or many other meals or enjoy a spinach salad with homemade dressing, tomatoes, sliced avocado and some grilled salmon.

Almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the immune system, plus almonds also contain B vitamins, which also have stress-busting properties. Pistachios and walnuts have been shown to help lower blood pressure. Wait until Phase 2 to incorporate these nutrient-packed treats into your plan. Enjoy a handful when your energy is low and stress level is high, or add them to your salad or any other meal.

Oranges. Although oranges won't be on your Atkins menu until you are in Phase 3, they are a sweet, delicious treat that are rich in vitamin C, which is known to have immune-boosting properties, plus may help reduce symptoms of stress.

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