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).
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).
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!)
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)!
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,
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>