When I fell stressed, overwhelmed, frustrated, or just plain overall yucky, I like to walk. Walking seems to relax me and helps me to think through things and put things in perspective. But, stress and emotions can also make me want to eat. In the past I would eat greasy chips, heavy starchy foods, and sugary foods but then I would feel even worse. Now, what I do is grab some foods that are healthy, natural, mood enhancers and that have been shown to help lower stress levels.
Ahhhhhhh, who can resist chocolate? You only need a little of this dark wonderful treat to help boost serotonin levels. Just remember, the darker the better and stay away from milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has half the sugar and provides four times the fiber, a lot more iron, way more magnesium, twice the potassium, less cholesterol, more zinc, and once you start eating dark chocolate the rest is just imitation to the “real” stuff.
We know that it is good to eat a handful of almonds for heart health but did you know that they can also reduce stress levels? They are full of vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and omega oils which can all become depleted when you become overwhelmed and stressed. These vitamins and minerals also help boost your immunity and keep you healthy.
Oranges are like Florida sunshine wrapped in a great smelling peel :) The high amounts of vitamin C in oranges (and many other great fruits and vegetables) helps to fight nasty free radicals that our body makes under stress. Just remember that eating a nice juicy orange in its natural state is most beneficial and try to avoid store-bought juice that gets loaded with sugar or other ingredients.
Okay, I had to throw in a leafy green because they are fabulous with whatever ails you. If you prefer to eat chocolate with some almonds or oranges than go ahead but know that spinach also helps to lower stress. High levels of magnesium in spinach and dark leafy greens helps to relax muscle fibers. So give stress a one-two punch with healthy spinach.
Stress is nasty and can enhance or lead to medical problems, so if work, family, money issues, health, whatever…is causing you stress, go for a walk, take some deep breaths, and grab some de-stressing foods, it will make you feel better.
Choosing healthy living over dying :)