The next time you feel all stressed up there is easy way to feel at ease — feed yourself. But not with your regular comfort foods like pastries, fries and ice-cream, but with some of the super-foods mentioned below.
Asparagus: Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, and one vegetable that boosts this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus. A single cup provides two-thirds of your daily value, and it is easy to fit asparagus into almost any meal. For instance, sauté some asparagus tips for a tasty omelet, or go with steamed or grilled spears as a side vegetable for meat, fish or poultry.
Avocados: People need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency. Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. They are also high in mono-unsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Next time stress has you reaching for a pint of full-fat ice cream, opt for an avocado blended with a ripe banana, vanilla extract, nut milk, and non-nutritive sweetener.
Milk: A glass of warm milk before bed is a time-tested remedy for insomnia and fidgetiness. Milk is high in antioxidants, vitamins B2 and B12, as well as protein and calcium; the protein lactium has a calming effect by lowering blood pressure, while the potassium in milk can help relieve muscle spasms triggered by feeling tense.
Almonds: Get some stress-relief munching on almonds, which are rich in vitamins B2 and E. Both of these nutrients help bolster the immune system during times of stress. Just a quarter cup of almonds each day does the trick. For variety, spread some almond butter on fruit slices or whole wheat crackers.
Oranges: Vitamin C present in oranges is known to lower blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. For a quick burst of vitamin C, simply eat a whole orange or drink a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice without added sugar.
Spinach: Leafy greens may not be your idea of comfort food, but spinach can have a comforting effect. Spinach is packed with magnesium, the mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels and promote feelings of well-being. A mere cup of spinach fills 40 percent of your daily quota, so slip some in with your morning eggs, swap for lettuce in your sandwich, have a salad, steam it as a side dish or drop a handful of leaves into your soup.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is another food that helps get the calm-inducing hormone serotonin flowing. Go with thick-cut, old fashioned oats that require cooking instead of instant oatmeal. Coarse oats are higher in fiber and so they take longer to digest so the calming effect actually lasts longer.