Stressed Out?

It’s that time of year again– as nighttime creeps into the afternoon and it gets darker earlier and earlier, some may view the upcoming season as a stressful one.  So, if the thought of winter encroaching and the sight of holiday decorations festooning at the mall is causing you anxiety, then you’ve come to the right place!  Below you’ll find five of the most effective stress-busting foods that will ease your anxiety in no time and get you back on track to make the most out of the next few months!

1.  Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers get absolutely zero air time… it seems as if oranges and kiwi are always stealing the spotlight in terms of potential health benefits.  Interestingly, oranges only contain half of the amount of Vitamin C that red bell peppers do.  Vitamin C in peppers is powerful in combatting stress in that it steadily decreases cortisol levels.  As this reduction occurs, the body feels less and less uneasy, and more ready to face whatever challenges it is up against (Pevzner).

2.  Nuts

Hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, pistachios– take your pick!  Any and all of these options contain another vital vitamin: Vitamin B, which replaces diminished amounts of this same vitamin inside of the body.  In addition, the potassium in nuts is another thing to smile about, as one of the overall effects of potassium is a reduction in blood pressure (Pevzner).

3.  Salmon

I really wished that I liked salmon.  Like, I REALLY wished that I liked salmon.  The health benefits are boundless, and it contains immense supplies of omega-threes (DHA).  The DHA part is important here, because salmon is one of the only foods accessible to humans that contains DHA rather than ALA.  Therefore, it’s noteworthy to say that the omega-threes found in flax and soy are not as beneficial in their stress-reduction properties than the omega-threes with DHA found in salmon.  These omega-threes are incredible at boosting spirits (Pevzner)!  (So, if you like your salmon any particular way, please let me know as I am willing to try again!)

4.  Spinach

A serving of spinach contains a substantial amount of magnesium.  The reason why this mineral is so critical to maintaining mental health is because magnesium plays a large role in regulating C-reactive level proteins.  Unfortunately, people with an overabundance of C-reactive level proteins can experience mental health issues, as an imbalance in these proteins can result in depression.  So, eat these leafy greens, and remember that spinach tastes very different raw than it does when it has been cooked.  The moral of the story is that if you don’t care for spinach prepared one way, try cooking/preparing it a different way… you  may be surprised by the results (Pevzner)!

5.  Oatmeal

You can’t go wrong with a complex carb.  Not only is this complex carb a comforting and peaceful way to begin your day, it is also wonderful in that it encourages the body to produce serotonin, thereby eliminating stress.  Many people have this notion that the calmest, least stressed out people out there don’t eat any carbs at all, but this is a fallacy.  Refined carbs (anything that’s white not wheat), should be avoided, but complex carbs offer an array of different health benefits (Pevzner).

Let me know what you think of these stress-reducing foods, and also please comment on your favorite go-to stress-combatting food as well!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

Pevzner, Holly. “7 Foods for Stress Relief.” Eating Well. n.d. Meredith Corporation. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.<http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/mind_body_spirit/7_foods_for_stress_relief>

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14 thoughts on “Stressed Out?

  1. Kathleen Bligh Yoh

    Katie, I am with you on the salmon business…..but I have found that wrapping rice paper around small pieces of salmon, say 2 x 2 inches or so, with a bit of cilantro on top (between the salmon and the rice paper, and then grilling them on a George Forman grill is wonderful. And I have a wonderful sauce (too strong by itself, but a perfect complement to the salmon) from one of Nina Simonds cookbooks that is divine….email me if you would like more precise information 🙂

    Thanks for your great work and even better attitude!! All my best, Kathleen Bligh Yoh

    1. Hi Mrs. Yoh! Thank you so much for commenting, I am especially grateful for the salmon recipe 🙂 I’ll let you know after I’ve tried it how it went (hopefully the sauce and the cilantro will subdue the taste of the salmon!) Thanks again 🙂

  2. El

    All of those foods are wonderful, and I did not know they help put stress out of business! I tend to eat chocolate on the rare occasion I am feeling stressed. Thanks Katie… I love your blogs, because you write so beautifully.

  3. Alexandra

    Great foods to de stress! I love to put spinach in my smoothie. It has a lot of benefits and you can’t even taste it! 🙂 Thank you for another awesome post Katie!

  4. Erin LaRosa

    My husband, who doesn’t like seafood, makes the best Salmon on the grill. Now even he eats Salmon. He leaves the skin on and marinates the filet in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and soy sauce. He puts it on a piece of aluminum foil and puts it on the grill. He takes it off the grill just before it has completely cooked through. It comes out so moist, better than what I can get at a restaurant. My kids gobble up every last scrap! It has become my favorite fish!! You should give it a try. So happy to hear it is a stress reducer too; you have inspired us to have Salmon for dinner tonight!

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