It is easy to be a nervous eater when life gets stressful. But with bikini season coming up, sometimes those foods that you reach for can hinder your beach body efforts. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy options for all the nervous munchers out there that helps our bodies fight stress. So without further adieu, here are 10 stress relieving super foods that won’t add to your waistline.
1.) Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are packed full of folate. Research shows folate helps improve production of dopamine, a major stress fighting chemical. So instead of going to grab the chips and dip, get some kale chips. Your brain will thank you!
You know the calm that you get at the end of your Thanksgiving meal? Well this is likely due to the high amounts the amino acid called tryptophan. Why tryptophan? A great stress fighting chemical called serotonin increases production when tryptophan is introduced. Turkey is a delicious lean meat that gives you the protein, but not the fat. It is easy to replace ground beef with ground turkey for burgers, meatballs, and even tacos!
Have you ever wondered why people who are dieting always seem agitated? According to MIT, the answer is most likely due to decreased serotonin production caused by the lack of carbs. Most people believe when they start a diet they must cut out all carbs completely. While cutting carbs might be good for your waistline, it is not good for your brain chemistry. Oatmeal is a great way to get those carbs without going overboard. If prepared right, oatmeal can be low in sugar, fat, and is a much more complex carb than the pop tart in the back of your pantry.
Salmon is jam packed with omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help decrease the effects of stress hormones. So enjoy that sushi, smoked salmon, roasted salmon, or even steamed salmon. Your body will thank you.
Blueberries are an easy addition to your morning smoothie. Blueberries are great because they are tasty, and help prevent stress and anxiety. These berries might be tiny, but they are full of vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight anxiety.
6.) Dark Chocolate
If eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is an acceptable treat. Studies have shown people perform better at tasks when given a square of dark chocolate. The improved performance is likely because dark chocolate has many stress relieving qualities, and even reduces blood pressure.
Seeds are full of magnesium, which makes them great stress preventing snacks. Research shows that magnesium helps reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Limit how salted they are, and seeds can be a healthy addition to a salad. Some seeds that are high in magnesium include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flaxseeds.
Cashews are rich in zinc, a miracle mineral that helps reduce stress. As long as you keep the salting to a minimum, cashews are a great healthy snack to keep at your desk.
Asparagus is yet another food full of folate. As discussed before, folate helps increase production of dopamine. Dopamine helps make you happy and calm. With summertime coming up, it is a great time to pull out that grill to make turkey burgers and grilled asparagus.
10.) Chamomile Tea
Remember it is important to stay hydrated! Studies show that chamomile helps decrease anxiety and stress. It is a great way to get your 8 daily cups of water, and research has shown that it is common to mistake thirst for hunger. So next time you feel hungry after eating, make sure to drink a big glass of water or tea.
Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for the next episode of my Stress Relief Strategies series.