It's a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being... Unfortunately they don't give us super powers, but they might as well, as they give us so many different health benefits. These foods will not only improve your health but will also help diminish your stress! Get in on my stress relief secrets and live a happier and healthier life!
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Think spinach and kale!
They contain Folate which produces mood-regulating neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine.
Add leafy greens in smoothies, eggs, and salads!
2. Turkey Breast
Not Boar’s Head Turkey breast!
Think organic, free-range, no hormones added!
Turkey breast contains tryptophan- an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin which regulates hunger and feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Some other high tryptophan foods include pumpkin seeds, nuts, free-range organic eggs, lentils, beans, and tofu.
Believe it or not, carbs can help the brain make serotonin.
Complex carbs, like oatmeal, won’t contribute to a spike in blood glucose.
Not microwave oatmeal-filled with sugar, think steel cut oats
Time saving option-make a big portion in the beginning of the week, store in refrigerator!
Healthy additions- fresh organic berries and cinnamon.
Complex carbs are also in peas, beans, whole grains, like quinoa and vegetables.
4. Coconut Yogurt
Stress causes the brain to create cortisol, which is the hormone released in response to stress. Stress then activates gastrointestinal symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Dairy can bring on these symptoms too so coconut yogurt is a great dairy-free option
Coconut yogurt contains probiotics to reduce brain activity in the area that controls emotion, including stress
Coconut yogurt also supports thyroid function and speeds metabolism
Be sure to buy yogurt with 8 grams of sugar or less.
Probiotic daily supplement
5. Wild-Caught Salmon
Stress stirs up anxiety hormones like adrenaline and cortisol
Omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties that can counteract the negative effects of stress hormones
Buy wild, not farmed salmon!
Other options include, sardines anchovies, or you can take krill oil as a supplement.
Antioxidants aid your brain in the production of dopamine, the chemical critical to coordination, memory function, and your mood
Mix with oatmeal, smoothies, coconut yogurt, summer salads or just enjoy as a snack
Stress can cause an ongoing loop of negative thoughts in your mind. Combat that with repetitive activities that can help silence your inner monologue.
The rhythmic action of shelling nuts can keep you calm and relaxed.
Cracking open nuts slows down the eating process, making these a diet friendly choice!
Nuts are also great for cardiovascular health.
Be sure to eat no more than 2 servings a day.
Pistachios are at high risk of contamination and may be bleached or fumigated during processing so always choose organic pistachios and avoid those that are dyed, bleached, or show signs of decay.
8. Dark Chocolate
Yes, chocolate can reduce stress! But not the entire bar, just one square!
Dark chocolate can regulate your stress and anxiety by reducing hormones like cortisol.
Antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation
Go for varieties of dark chocolate that contain at least 70% cocoa
You can also get cocoa powder and put in smoothies or add it to you peanut butter
One ounce of this buttery nut packs 11% of the daily recommended value of zinc which is an essential mineral that can helps reduce anxiety.
Zinc affects the levels of a nerve chemical that influences your mood.
Cashews are also rich in omega-3’s and protein so they are a healthy, smart snack!
Cashew butter is a great option, spread it on a whole grain English muffin with a side of fresh berries for a healthy and well-balanced breakfast!
Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium which alleviates depression, fatigue, and irritability, regulates emotions and enhances your wellbeing.
Add these seeds to smoothies, salads, and yogurt.
This super fruit can help to shut down stress eating by filling your stomach, feeling more satisfied.
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats that keep you full!
Eating a ½ of an avocado can reduce your desire to eat more by 40%, and 28% percent less hungry at the five-hour mark compared to those who did not eat avocado for lunch.
Feeling full will make you less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks when stress kicks in.
Avocados are helpful to regulate blood sugar levels.
Daily dose of sunshine can stabilize your mood!
Serotonin, the brain hormone associated with mood elevation rises with exposure to bright light and falls with decreased sun exposure
Low vitamin D levels are associated with increased panic disorders
Other forms of Vitamin D: salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms but the best solution is to get outside!
Books that winter getaway and enjoy some sun!
Other Great Superfood Combinations:
Steel Cut Oatmeal mixed with a variety of berries
Baked or Grilled Salmon over a bed of sautéed spinach
Spinach and baby kale salad with ½ an avocado with crushed pistachio nuts
Sprinkle different seeds, like flaxseed into your favorite morning smoothie
Baked turkey breast with a roasted vegetable and a quinoa medley