You are what you eat! If you want to stop stressing and start relaxing, changing your diet can make a huge difference. Of course, diet is not everything, but these five foods can help you start reducing some of the effects of stress in your life. Everything we ingest affects us on some level—physically, mentally, and spiritually. In a world that seems overwhelmingly stressful at times, let’s treat our bodies well. Because change starts with self-care.
Have a Lighter Life: Lemons
It’s no mystery that lemons are jam-packed with health benefits. They’re a rich source of vitamin C and have tons of cleansing effects on the body. Vitamin C greatly aids in the reduction of cortisol levels, which regulate the amount of stress channelling throughout our body at any given time. It is recommended that you add a half or whole squeezed lemon into your morning breakfast smoothie. You can also slice up lemons and put them in your water throughout the day. Or squeeze lemon juice onto your salads and veggies for added zest and health.
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Reduce Stress: Spinach
Everyone knows it is good to eat greens. But spinach is especially good for our stress levels! Spinach is naturally rich in vitamin E, which improves brain function and stimulates stress reduction. Spinach is also an excellent source of magnesium, which has a calming effect on the body. Plus, it is rich in vitamin B, aiding in the reduction of anxiety and depression levels. Incorporate spinach into your meal routines by packing a spinach salad for lunch or sauteeing it as a side to any dinner dish. Learn more about the benefits of this superfood at anxiety.org.
Need help on how to incorporate Spinach into your meal? Try these recipes.
Be Happy: Wild Salmon
Salmon is not only delicious, but it’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which make us happier. The nutrient fights inflammation caused by higher cortisol levels, making us less stressed! Note: A wild caught salmon should be considered over farm-fished salmon for the fullest health benefits.
Check out this wild caught salmon recipe from Beyond Diet: Healthy & Happiness Through DeliciousEating and these recipes.
Fight Dark Moods: Dark Chocolate
You heard us right: Eat all the chocolate you want! Well, maybe not ALL of it, but a little bit of dark chocolate a day has a positive effect on our well-being. Researchers have found that eating a couple ounces of chocolate (made with at least 70 percent cacao) each day can reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, while reducing inflammation and boosting memory. Plus, dark chocolate contains serotonin, which acts as a natural antidepressant. Never feel guilty about your chocolate consumption again!
Learn more about some of the health benefits of dark chocolate at WebMD and if you’re already craving a piece of dark chocolate, try one of our dark chocolate desserts!
Lift Your Mood: Banana
Sometimes, when we’re feeling down, it’s so easy to want to grab junk food. Instead, grab a banana packed with potassium to keep you feeling energized and to curb your sugar cravings. This easy, year-round grab-n-go fruit also contains high amounts of tryptophan, which aids in the conversion of vitamins (B6) into serotonin. Add a banana to your morning routine for a happy day, or if you need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up at the office, choose a banana over processed, sugary foods. For more info on this super snack, visit caring.com.
Make your most important meal of the day an exercise in reducing stress by whipping up one of our banana breakfast recipes!