Stress has a way of making us reach for our comfort foods – namely sugar and carbs. Too bad they’re just making things worse.
Here’s what you should be reaching for – our top 5 fave stress reducing foods.
1. Spicy Guacamole
Oh, Guacamole – there are so many reasons we adore you! Let’s start with the super stress-busting avocado. It’s got a ton of folate, healthy fats, and potassium, which are all great for lowering blood pressure. And then, depending on how you make your guac, you could also get bonus benefits from garlic (immune system booster) and capsaicin (chillies) that releases endorphins in the brain to make you hap-hap-happy. Just be sure you dip in with fresh veggies instead of processed grease-laden chips.
2. Berry Banana Smoothie
Blending up some berries and bananas is like a one-two punch to your stress. Berries are packed with vitamin C, which is a superstar stress buster. Not only does it lower blood pressure it also lowers the stress hormone, cortisol. Bananas contain heaps of potassium, which also lowers blood pressure and, studies show, it induces a feeling of calm. Blend and slurp your stress away.
3. Just a Little Dark Chocolate
While stress may have us raiding the vending machine for a quick sugar fix, what we really need is just a small amount of dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) that’s low in sugar. It’s a powerful antioxidant, helps to lower blood pressure and aids in calming the nerves. But, remember as tempting and tasty as it may be, more is not better.
4. Nutty Granola
This power combo puts stress in its place on many fronts. The nuts (go with walnuts, cashews or almonds) contain stress reducing and immune boosting omega oils, vitamin E and (most importantly) zinc. The granola oats will boost your happiness hormones with serotonin. Flavour it with cinnamon and honey for added immune system support and general feelings of calm.
5. Dark Leafy Green Salad
Is there anything more greens can’t do? We love them for stress relief because they’re loaded with magnesium, which is key to controlling the release of cortisol and keeping stress hormones in check. Layer some chard, kale, and spinach with seeds and nuts for a super stress-beating salad.
Add these to your stress-busting program and when all else fails to do a little tea yoga – take a moment to enjoy a warm cup of tea (chamomile, mint, and green are all calming), contemplate your tea and take deep restorative breaths.
Ah, that feels better. Now you’re ready to take on the world again!