Keep calm and snack on…
These stress fighting foods will help you manage your hectic days a lot better. When feeling stressed out, the typical go-to’s are those “comfort” foods that are high in sugar and sodium, but low in actually alleviating your anxiety. Instead, snack on these foods with real stress-reducing powers.
- Avocado on whole grain toast. Whole grains are high in B vitamins, which are needed to make serotonin, the feel-good hormone, while avocado is high in potassium, which helps lower blood-pressure, a common physical effect of stress. Not only is this combo delicious, but it’s the ultimate power couple for stress relief.
- Omega-3 fatty acids can boost your mood so much that some research has found them to be almost as powerful as anti-depressant medications. This stress fighter is found in fish and seeds. So try to eat salmon, tuna or trout at least twice a week. And add chia seeds or ground flaxseeds to your oatmeal, Greek yogurt, salads or smoothies.
- Dark chocolate is the ultimate double-win, as it helps release serotonin plus recent studies have shown that it also helps prevent the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). It is also high in those omega-3’s and loaded in antioxidants that will fight inflammation throughout your body, a type of internal stress. So incase you needed a reason to add chocolate to your day, here you go! Snack on a 1-ounce serving each day to help reap all these calming benefits (look for chocolate with at least 70% cocoa).
- Nut butters (almond, peanut, or cashew) are all rich in magnesium and zinc, two minerals that help the brain regulate and eliminate stress. Pair 2 Tbsps with a banana for the perfect stress-reducing snack, as bananas have been linked to increased release of serotonin, thanks to their high amount of B vitamins.
- Hummus and veggies. Hummus is loaded in folate, iron and zinc, all nutrients that have been shown to reduce anxiety. Plus taking a hard bite out of some crunchy veggies, like carrots and celery, may help release some stress too.
- Matcha. Add a cup of matcha green tea (or regular green tea) to your day. The leaves used for these drinks contain an amino acid that has been found to help decrease anxiety. It is also a caffeine-like substance that can help keep you alert without the java-jitters you may get from coffee. Or you can try eating your matcha with this recipe.