You overslept, woke up to find several missed calls and realized you’re late for an appointment. Your wedding date is approaching, stress is building up and you’re tempted to reach for a chocolate bar, but don’t!
The last thing you need is more stress caused by bad food choices, which can eventually increase your risk of high blood pressure, obesity and the chances that you’ll go ballistic when your wedding planner, for the third time, asks you what flower arrangements you want for the special day.
Take a deep breath, and read the following list on the best stress-beating foods.
When stress leaves you craving for fatty foods, skip the unhealthy treats and opt for an avocado or homemade guacamole instead. The rich, creamy texture may satisfy your cravings, as well as ease down your frantic mood. Furthermore, the monounsaturated fat and potassium in avocados help to lower blood pressure. Fact: Just half an avocado will offer more potassium than a medium sized banana. Why not try an avocado salad dressing? Puree a medium avocado with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a dash of cayenne pepper.
Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts
The next time you feel the heat rising, reach for a handful of almonds. They are loaded with vitamins B and E, which will help improve your immune system and help you cope with stressful situations. Studies show that eating a handful of these nuts a day lowers blood pressure so your heart doesn’t have to work overtime. For added flavour, try adding your daily serving to cereals, oatmeal or salads!
Calcium can reduce muscle spasms and soothe tension, which is why people who suffer from insomnia and restlessness are recommended to drink some warm milk before sleeping. A glass of milk a day may also reduce stressful PMS symptoms in women, such as mood swings, anxiety and irritability. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Stress hormones and omega-3 fatty acids do not get along well. Studies show that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids keep cortisol, a stress hormone, from rising. Eating a serving of fatty fish (ex. salmon, mackerel or tuna) at least twice a week will make a difference to your stress levels. Not a fish eater? Then incorporate omega-3 daily supplements to your diet.
The magical nutrient here is vitamin C. It has been noted that people who take vitamin C feel less stressed and their blood pressure returns to normal faster than those who don’t.
When you eat carbohydrates your brain produces serotonin, the same brain chemical that relaxes you when you eat dark chocolate. The slower your body absorbs carbs, the more steady the flow of serotonin in your blood stream. Thick oatmeal is high in fiber; it takes a long time for your stomach to digest it. The result: a calmer you. Take time to cook some old-fashioned oats in the morning with a swirl of honey on top to give you a good head start to your day.
Yours in Health,