Stress is unfortunately all too common in our lives and can affect us both mentally and physically; it can weaken the immune system, cause headaches and fatigue, irritate our digestive system, and raise blood pressure. Fortunately, what we eat can help us manage our stress and keep stress-induced symptoms at bay. Check out these four stress-busting foods that can easily be incorporated into our every day diets and keep us feeling good.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are antioxidant-rich and high in vitamin C, which has been shown to fight stress while strengthening the immune system. My favorites are blueberries and blackberries. Although I love cooking with berries—cobblers, crumbles, etc. I find it so easy to simply add berries to cereal, oatmeal and baked goods like muffins and breads.
Fish, like tuna and salmon, that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and keep the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, under control. I love topping grilled fish with chutney or relish made with fresh fruit and vegetables. Try this Grilled Salmon with Corn and Tomato Relish recipe.
A bowl of warm oats can help boost serotonin levels, which helps combat symptoms of stress and anxiety. High in fiber, oats will also keep you full longer helping to ward off emotional eating that often accompanies stress. Try this Apricot Almond Oatmeal recipe—its one of my favorite quick and simple breakfast recipes.
Rich in magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant and stress-reducer, spinach can help calm you therefore lessening the symptoms of stress. When your body is under stress or anxiety, you can deplete your magnesium levels. Spinach can help reverse this. I love using spinach in soups and stews. This Chicken and Wild Rice Soup recipe is not only packed with spinach but it’s a true comfort food. Other magnesium-rich foods include navy beans, lima beans, broccoli, bananas and oats.