Is the pressure of work getting to you? Maybe you're feeling stressed about life in general. Everyone feels a little on edge at times and while regular exercise can help, another good option is changing what's in your diet. I bet you never knew that adding two or three of these foods to your daily food intake could make all the difference…
Kale & Spinach
Vegetables like spinach and kale are high in folate, which makes them great stress busters! Folate produces dopamine which is the brain’s pleasure chemical, so there are proven results that folate lowers levels of depression. Best of all, the consumption of dark leafy greens will help decrease your cognitive decline as you age,so it helps preserve your memory and thinking skills as well. Handy!
No one can get enough of avocados right now - and for good reason! These little gems are not only high in folate, they are also packed with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including vitamins E, K, B and potassium. When you have all of these in your system, they will regulate your mood, sleep and appetite making you feel stress free!
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which is why they are often referred to as one of the healthiest foods in the world. Blueberries contain vitamin C which is what your body needs to combat stress. They're also easy to get into your diet - great with yogurt, oatmeal or just to grab a handful on your way out of the door.
When you're feeling stressed, there's a good chance you already reach for the chocolate! Just make sure its dark instead of milk – this way you might actually do yourself some good. Dark chocolate actually contains more antioxidant activity then most fruits do. Dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure, which in turn decreases the feeling of stress.
Oatmeal is a non-wheat grain, high in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. Avenanthramides are a unique group of antioxidants that are solely found in oats, which help lower blood pressure levels. They also dilate blood vessels, which leads of better blood flow and as a result reduces stress.
You probably don't automatically reach for the garlic after a tough day, but maybe you should! Garlic can have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure and stress levels. It's also been proven to cut down the number of colds and flus that people catch throughout the year. Plus it makes almost everything taste better, so you should definitely be working more of it into your diet.
Cashew nuts are an excellent source of magnesium, are cholesterol-free and loaded with antioxidants that keep you away from heart disease. These again lower blood pressure which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease and that’s a sure way to reduce your long-term stress levels.
Researchers have found that people who take tryptophan supplements, (which is found in turkey) have higher levels of agreeableness then those who didn’t take it, which makes people much more relaxed. So grab a turkey sandwich once a week and feel the difference. Better yet, add avocado or spinach to that and you've got two stress busting super foods mixed together!
Introducing these super foods into your weekly intake will definitely reduce stress levels, make you feel more productive and keep anxiety at arm’s length.