When we’re feeling stressed out, all we ever seem to crave is unhealthy comfort food to help ease the worries. I mean, stressed spelled backwards is desserts for a reason, right? However, junk food is only a temporary fix when it comes to stressful times. On top of stress, other uneasy feelings will begin to surface such as mood swings and irritability due to all of the sugar, trans fats and whatever other artificial flavors you consumed during your moment of despair. When you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s beneficial to opt for healthy superfoods to combat stressful times.
Leafy Green Vegetables
In times of need, go green. Leafy greens such as spinach are plentiful in folate which aids your body in producing pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. These chemicals include dopamine and serotonin which lift your mood and help you keep calm during hard times.
Chocolate lovers, unite! There’s a scientific reason behind the people who find instant gratification upon sinking their teeth into a piece of delicious chocolate. Chocolate produces a compound called anandamide which temporarily combats feelings of depression, sadness and pain. There’s a reason as to why dark chocolate has been referred to as ‘the new anti-anxiety drug!’
I don’t know about you, but carbs are my ultimate weakness. When stress comes to shove, there is nothing I want more than some french fries. The key with this scenario is to not push your carb craving to the side. Instead, opt for complex carbs such a oatmeal. These type of carbohydrates aid the brain in producing serotonin, which is the same substance at work in antidepressants.
Not only are they the perfect snack on the go for a busy day, but they play a huge role in stress relief. Studies show that eating two servings of pistachios a day decreased vascular constriction during stressful times, which means your heart will physically feel more at ease due to your arteries being more dilated. Also, it is possible that the rhythmic act of shelling pistachios will ease your nerves and help you relax.
Turkey is a great source of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps your body naturally produce serotonin. Tryptophan itself is said to have a calming effect all on its own when digested. So that’s why everyone is so relaxed after Thanksgiving dinner!
Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.Read more in Being HER
10 Superfoods for Stress Relief. Mercola.com. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/04/27/10-stress-relieving-superfoods.aspx. Accessed August 21, 2016.
12 Superfoods for Stress Relief. Health.com. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20909426,00.html/view-all. Accessed August 21, 2016.