Reducing stress is a priority for many and a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and daily exercise can assist greatly. The foods we eat also impact our mood. In addition to well-known stress-busters like tea and milk beverages, there are many foods that can help. Some of our favourites are listed below.
Oranges – Oranges contain Vitamin C (which is known to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol). Vitamin C is also great for strengthening the immune system.
Sweet Potatoes – A great choice when your craving a carbohydrate-heavy item, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid), vitamin C,vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. You’ll feel more relaxed and satiated after a serving of sweet potatoes.
Turkey – There is a reason people feel calm and even sleepy after eating turkey. Turkey contains the amino acid L-tryptophan which releases serotonin. This is the reason why many people who eat turkey feel relaxed, or even tired, after eating it. L-Tryptophan has a documented calming effect.
Spinach – Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants. High levels of magnesium keep headaches at bay and spinach contains a multitude of nutrients that improve overall health and wellbeing. Spinach is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Almonds – Nuts, in particular almonds, help bolster the immune system and are chock full of vitamins, essential minerals, fiber and monounsaturated fat. They also assist in keeping blood pressure down.