Foods to help you beat stress
Stress can be a good thing if you use it to your advantage. It pushes you to take action and get things done. But when it gets to be too much, it can actually make you sick! In addition to adopting a healthy stress-management system (i.e. meditation, exercise, rest, etc.) your food choices can also help!
Stress-busting foods include:
- B-vitamin-rich foods: Maintain nerve and brain cells and convert the food you eat into energy you can use. You also need B-vitamins to make serotonin (a powerful brain chemical that makes you feel happy and calm). Foods rich in B-vitamins include: Broccoli, fruit, poultry, nuts and seeds, yogurt, eggs, cottage cheese and fish.
- Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods: Help balance your mood. They include: Salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and tofu.
- Whole grains: Boost serotonin and include: Barley, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn and quinoa.
- Vitamin C-rich foods: Contain antioxidants, which fight free radicals that get released when you’re stressed. To get more vitamin C, eat: Berries, oranges, kale, strawberries and sweet potatoes.
- Selenium-rich foods: Repair oxidative damage caused by stress. Found in: Beans, garlic, tuna, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
BEWARE! The following will increase your tension:
- Too much caffeine.
- Sugary foods (candy, soda, cookies, etc.)
- Salty snack foods (chips, pretzels), which dehydrate your body and brain, leaving you fatigued.
- High-fat meals (cheeseburgers, fries, mac-n-cheese, wings), which raise your stress-hormone levels and keep them high.
3 Stress-busting snacks to try:
- 1/4 cup 1% cottage cheese + 3 Wasa crackers
- 1 small banana + 1/2 oz. walnuts
- 1 hard-boiled egg + 1 small orange