• L.C.

5 foods to relieve stress

Updated: Oct 23, 2017

Try these 5 foods to stay calm when dealing with life's daily pressures.

1. Dark Chocolate

That's right, you have permission! Dark chocolate is high in polyphenols, which can improve mood and lower blood pressure. Enjoy a couple squares of quality dark chocolate each week to enjoy the benefits.

2. Chamomile or Lavender tea

Research has shown that both Chamomile and Lavender flowers can calm nerves, reduce anxiety and promote sleep! These herbal teas are caffeine-free, so you can enjoy a cup anytime you feel stressed, or even right before bed!

3. Oatmeal

A complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a calming feeling that helps overcome stress. Make a batch of steel-cut oats for breakfast and start your day off right.

4. Berries

Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, as well as vitamin C, and they've been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. Toss a handful of berries into your oatmeal, cereal or a smoothie.

5. Folic Acid

Asparagus, oranges, avocados, beans and leafy greens are packed with folic acid which has been shown to boost emotional health. Add these to your plate to boost your mood!

6. Seeds

Seeds containing magnesium have been shown to heighten feelings of well-being and help stabilize emotions. Snack on pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, or toss some sesame seeds into your salad.

7. Cashews

Nuts are great snacks, and because they are crunchy and a little salty, they cure many cravings. For those trying to lose weight, they are a great source of protein and fat, and very satisfying. (You do have to watch portion size though, since they are high in calories.) Cashews are an especially good source of zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it's important to get some every day.

Here's to living well! Nutrition is medicine :)