Top 7 Anti-Stress Superfoods
Everyone experiences stress at some point. While we all deal with stress in different ways, people often look to food for comfort. Whenever we run to food to try and forget our problems, however, the results can be very unhealthy, and ultimately cause us even more stress. It’s important to be mindful of what we eat and remember to enjoy the foods that can benefits us–both physically and mentally–and not just those that provide emotional comfort after a stressful day.
There are many foods that help in the battle against stress and anxiety. Anti-anxiety foods naturally contain properties that cause our bodies to enter a state of calmness and relaxation, and anti-stress foods help to maintain energy levels. If you know which foods to choose, you can help your body to eliminate stress. The following foods are all healthy, nutritious, and provide numerous anti-stress benefits!
Strawberries are great at beating stress for many reasons. They’re high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help to increase energy and promote cell renewal. Strawberries contain phytonutrients, which is where the beautiful red color and antioxidant properties come from. The phytonutrients in strawberries help relieve stress. A handful of strawberries accompanied with plain Greek yogurt is a great snack to munch on and de-stress.
Coconut water is packed with minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which are required to maintain a healthy central nervous system. It promotes relaxation and at the same time used as an energy boost. Coconut water is also great to drink after a workout for hydration. The best coconut water to get is the most natural kind so avoid colors or flavors, or even better–try getting your hands on an actual coconut and retrieving the water yourself!
Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, contains important vitamins and minerals, and promotes general well-being. The great thing about green tea is that it’s beneficial for many different reasons and conditions. It helps promote relaxation, increases good memory, and suppresses the appetite, just to name a few. Green tea is a great addition to anyone’s daily routine, as its anti-stress properties will increase over time.
Believe it or not, spinach is a great stress-fighting food loaded essential nutrients. It contains a potent dose of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron. It also helps to promote weight loss and provides a natural energy boost. Try adding a handful of spinach to a fruit smoothie, omelette, or pasta sauce, or just replace the lettuce in your salad at lunch with this leafy green superfood for an energized afternoon.
Carrots are a simple root vegetable with high levels of anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins, and fiber which help to strengthen the immune system and promote overall good health. This ordinary veggie is great for alleviating anxiety and enhancing your mood. For a crunchy salad topping, shred carrots on a cheese grater, or munch on raw carrot sticks and hummus for a healthy snack. Carrots also pair well with ginger and citrus in a creamy pureed soup.
Salmon is an amazing source of nutrients that our bodies need to feel calm, and is especially high in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in salmon help maintain healthy brain function as well as a positive mood. Consuming salmon on a regular basis increases alertness, decreases anxiety, and increases a positive attitude and outlook. With its high “healthy fat” content, salmon is a delicious and healthy protein that also assists with keeping a healthy weight. Look for wild-caught Atlantic or sockeye salmon to avoid the dyes used by commercial farmers.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil, or EVOO, is a must for many health reasons. It is one of the healthiest types of cooking oils, has cancer-fighting properties, and decreases stress. A great way to add extra virgin olive oil to your everyday life is simply by using it in your cooking, in place of vegetable oil or butter. Olive oil can be used to cook anything and everything, and its flavors really shine when using it as a garnish, drizzled on roasted vegetables or a salad. Adding EVOO to your diet is one of the easiest ways to promote calmness while also promoting good health.
No one wants to suffer from stress or anxiety, and while “comfort food” feels good for a moment, it’s extremely comforting knowing you can nourish your body and at the same time improve your well-being. So go ahead and eat your way to a low-stress lifestyle with these seven superfoods!