Food is a common go-to item when we are stressed. A problem for most of us is the type of food we choose usually provides little to no nutritional value since they are most likely processed and packaged products. Pick a day to spend an hour or two putting healthier options together so they are ready when you need them.
There are many healthy foods than provide essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help ease tension at work, on the road, at home, or anywhere. Since it is Friday, most of us should have lower stress levels, but gather one or all of the following foods to prepare for the dreaded Monday and keep away from unhealthy alternatives.
A shortage of selenium is associated with increased anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Nuts like Almonds and Brazil nuts contain selenium, and we don’t need a lot of it to ease stress. Most nuts are also a good source of other minerals like magnesium and zinc, along with vitamins B2 and E. A daily dose (just a handful) of mixed nuts a day will be enough to keep you from going…errr….nuts. Other foods with selenium (but not as much as nuts) are Shitake mushrooms, tuna, salmon, and other fatty (the healthy kind) fish.
Low-fat or Skim Milk
Reduced Fat Cottage Cheese or Plain YogurtReduced fat cottage cheese is high in protein and calcium, and low in fat and sugar. Plain yogurt has a higher sugar content, but it is naturally occurring, and equally satisfying. Mix one of these with fruit high in vitamin C like blueberries, strawberries, or oranges since vitamin C plays a vital role in fighting free radicals that get released when you're stressed. Beware of non-fat cottage cheese and there are many added gums, starches, and other fillers to maintain an ideal consistency. I found that the Daisy and Nancy's brands are the only available varieties with just skim milk, cream, and salt as ingredients in my area. As with most protein containing foods, cottage cheese is also a great source of the essential amino acid tryptophan.
I just noticed 3 of my 5 choices include a bowl and a spoon. If you can't tell, if I have a bowl/cup and spoon in hand, chances are my stress levels are low!
Most people are able to find one of the five things I listed as something they enjoy eating. Try incorporating these in your diet and see if you are able to better manage your stress levels. A point to keep in mind is that these foods are meant to help reduce stress in your life, diet alone will not solve everything, but it’s a great step in the right direction.
What do you plan on using/eating to battle stress in your life?