Meditation, exercise and quality sleep are all powerful ways to de-stress. And, yes of course, vacation and a fab massage work too. But, the good-mood-food thing IS real. These five foods work to contribute to reducing stress and anxiety. Read on and eat up!
This favorite food of most people (and Instagram) is high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which fight inflammation (a reaction to cellular stress), as well as numerous other anti-inflammatory compounds. The healthy fats in this fruit promote blood flow to the brain, and are also linked to helping lower blood pressure. If you’ve only been eating it on toast or tortilla chips, try it in a smoothie!
A “sweet” nut for snacking indeed and cashews are also a great source of zinc, a mineral that plays a major role in managing the body and brain’s response to stress. It’s been found that individuals with chronic anxiety show signs of improvement with zinc supplementation. If snacking on nuts isn’t your thing, try this cashew sauce for dipping.
3. Dark chocolate
In it’s super dark, most natural state, dark chocolate has been associated with higher levels of serotonin (a chemical responsible for regulating your mood). It also contains magnesium, which may have an effect on reducing anxiety. This is no excuse to eat a bag of M&M’s when your boss stresses you out, but replacing afternoon cookies and coffee with ½ ounce of 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate and a green tea may do you some good.
This citrus fruit is high in vitamin C, which has been shown to lower levels of cortisol in the body and reduce the physical and psychological effects of stress. If you aren’t a fan of this tart citrus, try oranges or peppers, which are also high in this powerful vitamin. I grew up eating broiled grapefruit regularly!
5. Leafy greens
Greens like spinach, kale and broccoli rabe are filled with folic acid, a nutrient that helps maintain normal levels of serotonin (that feel-good hormone). Asparagus and broccoli are also high in this water-soluble vitamin. Lunch time salads are a great way to get your greens, but you can also add them to smoothies for your daily dose of greens.
For more tips on how to live a nutritious life, follow Keri on Instagram @nutritiouslifeofficial.