Beating Stress and Anxiety Through Food

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Feeling stressed at work? House chores making you anxious? Don’t ease frazzled nerves with a slice of cake or a burrito! Gaining weight and stressing out is a bad combination. Before reaching for sweets or pastries to alleviate stress, consider these super healthy alternatives:

Turkey

Turkey is low in cholesterol and calories compared to red meat. It’s also packed with a compound called tryptophan. Tryptophan is a type of amino acid that increases the serotonin level in the brain. Serotonin is a type of happy hormone that alleviates stress and stabilizes the mood!

Spinach

Spinach is an incredibly nutritious vegetable that’s also low in calories. It’s a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that promote calmness of the mind. Even better, spinach is also packed with fiber. It energizes the body and makes you feel fuller for longer so you don’t overeat! Fiber also protects from heart disease and diabetes.

Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. It helps boost serotonin level and prevents inflammation. Essential fatty acids also keep the brain healthy by inhibiting stress hormone cortisol. In addition, omega3 fatty acids promote healthy blood flow, which in turn, energizes and oxygenates the whole body.

Nuts

Most types of nuts contain plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. But almonds, cashews, and walnuts also contain tryptophan, which increases the serotonin level in the brain. The essential fatty acids in these nuts coupled by tryptophan elevate the mood, eliminate stress and keep the brain healthy. Just eat a handful of any of these nuts for a healthy afternoon snack.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal contains complex carbohydrates that boost the serotonin production in the brain. It’s also loaded with magnesium and potassium, which lower blood pressure. So to keep stress and anxiety at bay, eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Add a handful of walnuts and cashews for a tranquil day.

Orange

An orange a day keeps the stress away! All types of citrus fruits contain high levels of vitamin C. Studies show that this nutrient minimizes stress level in the body. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune system and protects from free radical damage.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates and fiber. Both nutrients soothe frayed nerves and calm the mind. Because sweet potatoes are subtly sweet, they will also offset cravings for sugary treats. Sweet potatoes are also low in calories as long as you hold the trimmings.

Milk

Milk is high in vitamin B12 and B2, antioxidants, and calcium. These nutrients work together to help keep the mind calm and relaxed. However, because milk is high in fat, we recommend opting for the low-fat, fortified kind.

Asparagus

Just like spinach, asparagus is a superfood! This vegetable stabilizes the mood by inhibiting the production of stress hormone cortisol. It’s also loaded with essential minerals such as folic acids and B vitamins that calm the nerves and nourish the brain.

Lean Beef

Lean beef contains high levels of B vitamins, zinc, iron and protein. These compounds elevate the mood, alleviate stress and calm the nerves. Compared to chicken, beef is a lot more nutritious. But it’s also high in cholesterol so keep the portions reasonable.


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