When you’re stressed it’s normal to reach for the sugar foods and caffeine. Although you might feel like these guilty pleasures are helping you get through this hectic time – they are in fact lowering your ability to fight it.
When work is piling on the deadlines and you’ve got social commitments coming out of your ears, the last thing you want to do is put effort into making a meal. Besides who has time to eat healthily?
But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension.
Eating healthy foods can stabilise your blood sugar and send calming nourishment to the brain to relax and clear your mind.
What should you eat?
Green leafy vegetables
“Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical, helping you keep calm,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Stress reduces our B vitamin stores and snacking on nuts helps replenish them. “B vitamins keep our neurotransmitters in their happy place and help us handle the fight-or-flight stress response,” says Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., R.D., a psychologist in Burlington, Vermont.
“Oatmeal is warm and comforting—and it also helps your brain generate the de-stressing neurotransmitter serotonin,” says Albertson.
Antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defence, helping improve your body’s response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals.
So the next time you’re under pressure and reaching for a bar of chocolate, keep these stress-busting foods in mind.
Stay posted for our next stress relieving tip #StressAwarenessMonth