Let’s face it we all get stressed out sometimes. In fact many of us deal with varying degrees of anxiety and overwhelm on a regular basis.
The good news is in addition to stress reducing activities such as exercise, and mindful breathing, there are a number of superfoods that can really assist us in managing our emotional state and help us bring our body/mind back into balance. Here are my go to anxiety relieving superfoods:
1) Nuts: (Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts)
B-vitamins in almonds, pistachios and walnuts can help our body hold up during stressful events by reducing blood pressure, boosting the immune system and regulating increases in adrenaline levels. I also find the crunchiness of nuts to be very soothing.
Avocados creamy texture can help satisfy stress related food cravings as well as reduce the frantic feeling often associated with stress and overwhelm. My go to is often 1/4 raw avocado on a 7-grain flourless English muffin. Yum!
3) Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes boost serotonin production which leads to an increased sense of well-being. Want to get mellow? Sweet potato fries are a delicious vitamin rich way to chill out. Click here to read more about this nutritional superhero: http://bit.ly/WDQrrT
4) Omega -3 Rich Foods:
Omega-3 rich foods such as salmon and flaxseed can improve mood, and may help alleviate depression, aggression and hostility. (I wish I had some flaxseed some for a fellow motorist who wanted me to know how un-impressed he was with my driving skills this morning!)
Studies suggest oranges may reduce cortisol (stress hormone) when you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Chronic stress and increased cortisol levels are often associated with the storing of body fat around the belly button.
6) Spinach (and Other “Happy Greens”)
Spinach and other “happy greens” are full of foliate and B-vitamins, which help to regulate mood and manage your bodies “fight or flight” response to stress.
Bonus: Green Tea
Green tea has a compound called theanine which some believe promotes feelings of relaxation and well-being.
So the next time you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I invite you choose nourishment such as; nuts, avocados, potatoes, omega-3 rich foods (such as salmon and flaxseeds), oranges, spinach (and other happy greens), and green tea to help you manage your state. And keep in mind, this feeling too shall pass!
Erik Hajer is an award-winning fitness and wellness coach and author of the book, LIVE FIT AND BE WELL: A Personal Transformation Workbook. (Amazon: http://amzn.to/t3z97A ) In addition to training for life, he is a 13-time marathoner and 5- time Ironman Triathlon finisher.
Connect with Coach Erik and the Fit and Well Tribe online at http://erikhajer3.wpengine.com There you will find community, support, inspiration, and awesome training videos too!