10 Foods That Lower Your Stress!
Am I the only one that is blown away by the fact that it is already August?! With school starting in just a couple weeks (or in some cases, it already has!), stress levels are probably a little higher than usual. I’ve definitely felt a big increase in my stress levels lately, and while there is definitely more than one way to cope with stress- our diets tend to be the first thing that suffers when the pressure settles in. But if you arm yourself with knowledge, you can actually help yourself lower your stress levels by eating particular foods!
*Red peppers. These are actually higher in Vitamin C than oranges! Studies have shown that people that have diets high in Vitamin C have lower blood pressure and are able to recover faster from stressful situations- it literally helps you cope!
*Nuts. Pistachios in particular are high in potassium, which helps to lower your blood pressure. Not only that, but nuts are also a great source of Vitamin B- something we lose when we get stressed out! And cashews and almonds can actually help elevate your mood due to their selenium content.
*Bananas. Speaking of potassium, bananas are a fantastic source! They also help your body with the production of melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep- which always results in less stress!), and in serotonin, the hormone that helps regulate anxiety and depression and helps us feel happy!
*Salmon. The particular omega-3s (DHA) found in salmon can reduce anxiety by 20%! Sounds like I need more salmon in my life!
*Spinach. This magnesium-rich food can help regulate blood pressure and cortisol, which is a great thing because cortisol causes food cravings! Not only that, but studies have shown that people with diets low in magnesium are more stressed in general and have a greater chance of developing depression.
*Brown rice. If you’re loving the sound of magnesium but are not such a big fan of spinach, you can still increase the amount of magnesium in your diet through brown rice and beans! Great news for your pickier eaters ;).
*Complex carbs. Did you know that people that eat carbs are actually less stressed than people who completely avoid carbs? (Duh! ;) ). While a bag of potato chips sure sound good when we’re stressed, go for a complex carb, like oatmeal or whole wheat breads. Paired with some healthy proteins, this can actually help your body with serotonin production!
*Cinnamon. Add a little flavor to your bowl of oatmeal and combat stress at the same time! Cinnamon can actually soothe your frustration- and it tastes super yummy too!
*Berries. If red peppers aren’t your favorite, or you’re needing to add some fruit to your diet, berries are another great source of Vitamin C! Stress actually depletes our storage of Vitamin C and weakens our immune system, so these are really a great snack on those stress-filled days!
*Dark chocolate. As if I needed another reason to eat chocolate! ;) Chocolate is definitely not a low-calorie food, so be wary of how much you eat, but letting yourself indulge a little is actually a great thing! Studies have shown that those who have eaten about 1.4 ounces of chocolate every day for 2 weeks had lower cortisol and fight-or-flight hormone levels. No wonder we crave chocolate when we’re stressed!
So next time you’re stressed, leave the ice cream in the freezer and go for a blueberry banana smoothie instead! (And maybe a little bite of chocolate….. )
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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