How To De-stress One Bite at a Time
Posted On Mar 29, 2021
It’s hard to avoid stress. Whether we’re stressed about work or relationships or money, stress is all around us and can be hard to manage. While there are a lot of options to help manage stress like therapy and exercise, why not consider a little extra help?
Below, you’ll find our suggestions on how you can add certain components to your daily meals to help your body lower its stress levels!
Treat yourself to something filling and healthy to make the most important meal of the day the richest one. We suggest making a bowl of oatmeal and adding different toppings such as walnuts and fruits. Oatmeal is not only warm and comforting but it also helps the brain generate serotonin, considered a natural mood stabilizer that helps reduce depression and regulate anxiety. Adding fruits like blueberries and bananas can make your oatmeal tastier and help reduce stress! Anthocyanin, the pigment that gives blueberries their color, is an antioxidant that helps in the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function, and your mood. On the other hand, bananas contain the amino acid tryptophan that, with the help of vitamin B6 also in bananas, becomes serotonin.
Packing your lunch to work is the best way to know what you’re eating and putting in your body. Salads are one of the easiest lunches to make and one of the healthiest! When making salads, make sure to include plenty of dark leafy greens like spinach. Spinach is rich in folate which helps your body produce both serotonin and dopamine. In addition, a study conducted by the University of Otago in New Zealand found eating fruits and vegetables of any sort (except fruit juice and dried fruit) helped young adults calm their nerves. If you’re looking to add something extra to your salad, consider pistachios! One study found eating two servings of pistachios a day lowered vascular constriction during stress, which means the load on your heart is reduced since your arteries are more dilated.
If you’re craving something more filling for dinner, look no further than salmon. Rich in omega-3 fats, salmon has the nutrients that can influence your mood. A study conducted by Ohio State University showed that medical students taking an omega-3 supplement enjoyed a reduction in their anxiety levels. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both compromised with chronic stress, all while reducing the negative effects of stress hormones on one’s body.
If you’re looking for a nutritious drink, chamomile is the best option. This tea has glycine, an amino acid that relaxes nerves and acts as a mild sedative. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something to snack on, dark chocolate is the best bet. Commonly referred to as “the new anti-anxiety drug,” dark chocolate is not only delicious which gives everyone a great mood boost, but its nutrients help as well! Within chocolate, you can find anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression.