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Grapefruit and Orange with Watercress

Now that the frantic pace of the holiday season has officially begun, there is no way to avoid the stress that this time of year brings. Many of us are desperately searching for ways to handle the stress in our lives, but few of us stop to consider our diet.

According to, eating a large breakfast and a light dinner reduces the workload of the body’s digestive tract. Because so many of the side effects of stress involve the digestive tract (like irritable bowel syndrome and ulcers), it is very important to keep this system running smoothly.

Foods that support the functioning of the adrenal gland are essential to a stress-reducing diet. The adrenal gland produces hormones that help the body deal with the stress we face each day. Vitamin C and pantothenic acid, which is part of vitamin B complex, are both necessary for the adrenal gland to function properly.

Citrus fruits, (try our Citrus Salad with Watercress and Shaved Parmesan), tomatoes, berries and green vegetables or try our Southern Living Quick Braised Collards with Garlic, Brussel Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar) are rich in vitamin C.

The properties in vitamin C which help it support the adrenal glands break down when they are cooked, so these foods must be eaten raw for the body to absorb the stress-reducing benefits.

Pantothenic acid is found in peas, beans, lean meat, poultry, whole grains and yogurt. These foods can be cooked without effecting the pantothenic acid found they contain.

A recipe of Blueberry Parfait is a delicious way to get the pantothenic acid and vitamin C your body needs to help you deal with the stresses of the season!