Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stress Awareness Month

Our culture is fast paced, and we all have a million things going on all at once. Not to mention when things go wrong or something makes a hiccup. We all get stressed out, but eating right and taking care of our bodies can help us relieve some of that stress. I know after a bad day some people reach for chocolate or other comfort foods, but that might actually be doing more harm than good. 

If your looking for some stress relieve its best to avoid things that will give your body extreme highs and lows, things like caffeine and alcohol. Avoiding sugars is also good because sugars can cause your blood sugar to spike then fall quickly, which reflects upon your energy level. Which can leave you still feeling stressed and outta energy, not fun. 

So there is a lot that you should avoid when stressed, but what about the things you can eat? Luckily there are a ton of healthy, delicious things that help you keep you stress levels down. When your stressed your body releases hormones that affect your mood. Eating certain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid (found in asparagus) and B vitamins can help keep your mood steady because they're needed to make serotonin, which is a chemical that directly affects mood in a positive way.

Things that are on the "to eat" list include:

  • Beef, high in zinc, iron, and B vitamins which can help stablize your mood. If your concened about fat content you can always ask your grocery store butcher for a lean cut. 
  • Milk, high in antioxidants, vitamins B2 & B12, protein, and calcium. Grabbing a bowl of whole grain cereal and low fat milk in the morning is a great way to start your day with a stress fighting breakfast. 
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit, packed with protein and calcium. Foods with high protein content that aren't loaded with sugar won't cause a spike in blood sugar and will keep you satiated for a longer time. Mixing Cottage Cheese with fruits that are high in vitamin C (such as oranges) is not only delicious but super healthy,  as vitamin C is thought to play a role in fighting stress and is also an antioxidant that fights free radicals that get released when stressed. These radicals have been shown as a cause for cancer. 
  • Almonds, a good source for vitamin B2 & E as well as magnesium and zinc. Plus you can really crunch into them and get some aggression out! 
  • Blueberries, super rich in antoixidants but also offer high fiber, low calorie fruit opetion, that also is full of Vitamin C. Makes great to throw in cereal or Cottage cheese.
  • Tuna, A great lunch option, tuna is high in stress-fighting vitamins B6 and B12. Tuna is also a good low-fat protein source.
  •  Cornflakes or Crispy Rice Cereal, Although they aren't low in sugar, cornflakes and crispy rice cereal are fortified with B vitamins and folic acid to help reduce stress. Have them for breakfast with milk. Geise also recommends having them dry as an afternoon snack.

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