Can the candy and bin the biscuits – when deadlines loom and you need a comforting crunch, there are healthy options to help you de-stress. Here are Great Eastern Life’s top five contenders.

Yummy chocolate

Make sure you opt for dark chocolate (one with 70% cocoa solids or above), which is the lowest in sugar. Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids (an important antioxidant for preventing diseases) than five apples.

A 2.5cm square is all you need to sate the appetite and put you in a better frame of mind. This sweet treat also contains phenylethylamine, a compound similar to endorphins – that can put you in a happier mood.

Vegetables and dip

Instead of chips and a full fat dip, reach for crunchy crudités like broccoli, carrots, celery and peppers.

Broccoli alone is brimming with B vitamins, including folic acid, which helps relieve stress, panic and anxiety.

Add a handful of chopped mint to natural yogurt for a fresh dipping sauce. Or combine a chopped chilli with chopped tomatoes and onions, a handful of chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime for a spicy salsa.

The act of crunching through this healthy snack may also help put paid to any pent up pressure!

Sunny oranges

When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce cortisol, which adversely affects the immune system. The vitamin C in oranges has been found to restore cortisol levels to normal and even the smell of its citrus zest will give you a lift.

Eating oranges at work might also help you with your performance. Research has shown that people who took 1000mg of vitamin C before making a speech had lower levels of cortisol than those who didn’t.

Turkey salad

The tryptophan in turkey gives a calming effect, which makes it a good snack for stressful times.

Pair it with crunchy lettuce, slices of green apple and a handful of walnuts for a satisfying snack. If you’re vegetarian, a portion of edamame beans will have the same effect.

Go bananas

Easy to eat and instantly satisfying, bananas are a good source of potassium, which helps to regulate blood pressure, which can rise in times of stress. This is an ideal snack at any time of the day – to keep stress at bay.

Even better, slice a banana and freeze it overnight for a delicious and healthy alternative to ice cream.

Always pick a snack that will fill you up – like half an avocado or a handful of nuts. As Dr Drew Ramsay, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and author of The Happiness Diet told The Huffington Post, nothing stresses the brain more than thinking it is running low on nourishment.

For other healthy living tips, visit Great Eastern Life’s Live Great portal. Besides tips, there are articles and recipes, as well as wellness tools to conduct simple health risk assessments.

You can also obtain information on Live Great events like health and wellness talks, seminars and workshops, and Live Great partners’ promotions throughout the year.

You can find out more about Great Eastern Life’s activities and events through its Facebook page at

The FitForLife Fair 2016

Great Eastern Life is once again the exclusive event partner of The Star for FitForLife Fair 2016.

Held for the fifth consecutive year, the fair is one of the largest in Malaysia incorporating health and fitness, as well as activities promoting healthy living.


The theme for the fair is “Get Fit. Live Great!”, and it aims to inspire Malaysians to lead a healthy lifestyle and adopt a holistic approach to health that includes physical and mental fitness, financial health and general happiness.

The event will feature a diverse range of health and lifestyle products and services under one roof, catering to people of all ages. Visitors can expect an array of products suitable for various health needs, such as supplements, diet and nutrition aids, health checks, alternative remedies and many others.

The fair offers more than product bargains though. There will be a series of health and lifestyle talks by health industry experts on various topics of interest. This is an opportunity for visitors to obtain free advice and the latest information from healthcare and fitness experts.

In addition, Great Eastern will be giving out a free personalised notebook calculator and a goodie bag for the first 1,000 who pre-register for the event. For those who want to pre-register, they can sign up at the following link: The subsequent 5,000 who pre-register will receive a free LIVE GREAT goodie bag.

The LIVE GREAT Dodgeball Open will also be held. E-mail Ramona at or call her at 012-386 8809 for details.

This year, the fair will head to more venues across the country. Health enthusiasts can join the fun at the following locations:

Kuala Lumpur April 29–May 1, Mid Valley Exhibition Centre, 10am–7pm
Johor Baru May 6–8, Persada Johor International Centre, 11am–6pm
Malacca May 20-22, Mahkota Parade, 10am–10pm
Penang October 21–23, SPICE Arena (PISA), 10am–7pm

Admission is free. For enquiries, call 03-7967 1388 (ext 1243/1475/1529) or visit