Updated: Mar 11, 2019
When work deadlines are getting close and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you probably want to do is deal with being on a strict diet. Being on a strict diet can be very overwhelming for people. For example, seeing all your friends and family eating foods that comfort you from your childhood or foods that you genuinely crave, but you know you cannot eat it due to your diet. You may be wondering Who has time for healthy eating, or is it even worth eating healthy consistently? When it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your stress. Yes, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response.
Here are 10 foods to reach for when you've just about had enough:
1. Turkey Breast
You've probably heard that the tryptophan in turkey is to blame for that food coma on Thanksgiving. The amino acid, found in protein-containing foods which helps produce serotonin. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the human body. It is believed to help regulate mood and social behavior, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression.
Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine. A pleasure-inducing brain chemical that helps keep you calm.
A 2013 UCLA study among 36 healthy women revealed that consuming probiotics in Yogurt reduced brain activity in areas that handle emotion, including stress compared to people who consumed yogurt without probiotics or no yogurt at all.
4. Avocados and Bananas
We know that it's two things, but what do they have in common? They're loaded with potassium, a vital mineral for keeping blood pressure low.
The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body's response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties that may help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones. In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Oregon State University medical students who took omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety compared to the group given placebo pills.
7. Dark Chocolate (Just a few bits, not the whole bar!)
The antioxidants in cocoa activates the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. Dark chocolate contains unique natural substances that create a sense of euphoria similar to the feeling of being in love! We prefer you go for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa.
Stress runs you down, which leaves you open to sickness. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts can boost your immune system with vitamins and zinc.
Have a glass to get more B vitamins, protein, vitamin D and bone-building calcium to relieve tense muscles. Stick to the low-fat (1 percent) or skim varieties. Try drinking some milk around bedtime to bring on more restful sleep.
10. Whole Wheat Pretzels
When staring down the vending machine, opt for whole-grain snacks like whole-wheat pretzels or crackers. Not only will you feel fuller from the fiber, but also the carbohydrates offer an energy boost and trigger the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin.
We understand that you may not like some of the food types mentioned above, but try making it with a different style, sauce, or seasoning. Using different flavors can make a huge difference between you actually liking the food or not.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content on helping you maximizing your wellness :)