May is always a stressful time for me. All the kids’ activities wrapping up and the end of the school year challenge me to find time to eat healthy. So many nights I want to go out and grab food so I can work on folding a looming pile of laundry. It’s times like this when unhealthy snacks–from the corner store or the vending machine–feel like a way to deal with the added pressure around you. But there are some foods you could eat to help you feel less stressed–many of which are easy, portable snacks.
According to an article published yesterday on CNN.com, some foods are better equipped at helping you deal with stress. The 12 “superfoods” they featured were found to lower stress not only in the moment, but may help your body to cope with stress better in the future.
Eating more green leafy vegetables, for instance, was found to help lower depressive symptoms in older adults and college students were happier and calmer after consuming vegetables.
Another superfood, cashews, can help reduce stress in two ways. First, the nuts have a high concentration of zinc, a deficiency of which may be linked to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Secondly, cashews contain plenty of magnesium, which relaxes nerves by balancing calcium (which, in turn, activates nerves). Many experts believe eating the right amount of magnesium can also help you sleep better at night.
And, everyone’s favorite, dark chocolate, also made the list for its ability to help increase serotonin and endorphin levels in your brain (in moderation, of course). If chocolate alone wasn’t enough to dispel your darkest cravings, why not pair it with yogurt? Some evidence has shown consumption of probiotics found in yogurt actually decreased the emotional response to certain activities (such as stress). In other studies, probiotics has been known to alter the chemicals in the brain that cause anxiety and depression.
Here is the complete list of superfoods–do any surprise you?
– Green leafy vegetables
– Turkey breast
– Dark Chocolate