Healthy Foods that Help Reduce Stress
If you are feeling a little stressed out lately, your diet may not be helping the situation. If you are feeling the pressures of work, home and your personal life catching up with you, eating these healthy foods could dramatically reduce your stress levels.
Savor Sweet Potatoes
Usually when you are stressed, you tend to crave sweets.
Instead of reaching for a bag of candy or indulging in chocolate, switch things up a little and savor sweet potatoes.
To get your craving for something sweet without going overboard on calories, many snack companies make tasty versions of the sweet potato in the form of low-fat chips and sticks.
Not only are sweet potatoes lower in calories, but they are loaded with additional health benefits. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and are full of other vitamins. These special spuds are also full of fiber, which will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
Apricots, Almonds, Pistachios…Oh, My!
For the perfect in-between snack to help calm your nerves, reach for a package of dried apricots, almonds or pistachios.
Almonds contain vitamins B and E, which helps give your immune system a needed boost, especially when you start to feel a little burned out.
Walnuts and pistachios are also a great crave-curing option, as both snacks contain vitamins and nutrients that make them heart healthy.
Dried apricots are also a sweet, but tasty option. Apricots are rich in magnesium, which has actually been shown to reduce levels of stress. They also contain a natural muscle relaxant.
Spinach and Avocados
Did you know that migraine headaches and feelings of fatigue associated with stress are often caused by a lack of magnesium?
In addition to apricots, spinach is also a super food that contains up to 40% of your recommended intake of magnesium.
Although avocados don’t contain a ton of magnesium, they do contain a good dose of potassium and healthy monounsaturated fats. Consuming enough potassium is one of the most effective ways to help lower blood pressure and avocados do contain more of this essential nutrient than a banana.
Treat Yourself to More Turkey and Salmon
Although turkey is often blamed for putting people to sleep on Thanksgiving, it does contain an amino acid called L-tryptophan that releases serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical in our brains that causes you to feel good and relaxed. It has a natural calming effect.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps guard your heart from heart disease and other harmful cardiac conditions. These fatty acids also reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, helping you to feel more relaxed.
Other Ways to Stay Stress-Free
While the right diet is important, there are other ways you can fight stress on a daily basis.
Exercise is a natural way to reduce stress, as peak moments of physical activity can also release serotonin, causing you to feel more relaxed.
If you don’t currently snack between meals, you may want to reconsider. Not only does snacking help keep your metabolism steady, but it also keeps your blood sugar stable, causing you to feel more energetic and causing you to be in a better mood.