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10 Healthy Foods That Calm & De-Stress

February 1, 2018

We live in a stress fueled world. We all have deadlines, responsibilities and numerous directions we are pulled in constantly.

 

Stress is listed as a precipitating factor for so many chronic disease conditions so it makes sense that minimising those feelings and their impacts on our bodies should be a priority. Meditation, mindfullness, yoga, gentle exercise, having a chat, practicing gratitude are all great coping tools. But did you know that the active constituents of certain foods can also have a calming effect on your body?

 

Well they can. So the next time you feel that tension rising, take a break, hopefully engage in one of the above stress reduction techniques and tuck into a snack of some of the following:

 

10 Stress-Busting Foods 

 

1. BERRIES  - high in antioxidants and Vitamin C.

 

During times of stress our body utilises more Vitamin C than usual leading to lowered immunity. Vitamin C has also been shown to assist with lowering blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.  

 

Grab a punnet of fresh berries and dig in or keep frozen packets of berries in the freezer (oob are a great brand) and grab a little bowl full, add some mungalli greek yoghurt and some shredded mint for a GAPS friendly delicious stress busting treat.

 

2. DARK CHOCOLATE - containuing polyphenols and flavonols (healthy antioxidants) which are proven mood enhancer. 

 

Science says so, who am i to argue! Make it organic and 80%+ and its practically a health food. Just have a couple of squares and dont make it too late or you may wind up over stimulated and unable to sleep.

 

3. FERMENTED FOODS - for example; natural yogurt, kumbucha & sauerkraut.

 

We now know that 80-90% of serotonin (our feel good hormone) is manufactured in the gut. Without good bacteria and a balanced diet your serotonin making days are numbered.  

 

4. ROLLED OATS - serotonin support

 

The remainder of our serotonin is produced by the brain and rolled oats, being a complex carbohydrate, supports our brain to do just that.  

 

If you are not on a grain free diet, source organic unhulled rolled outs and enjoy in bircher museli.

 

5. WILD SALMON -  excellent source of Omega-3s

 

Studies have revealed that omega-3s can reduce stress and anxiety by more that 20%. Make sure you buy wildcaught rather than farmed salmon. This is generally in the frozen section of health food stores.

 

6. GREEN TEAS- contains a host of antioxidants and the amino acid L-theanine.

 

L-theanine is a powerful mood enhancer and green tea is an all round brain booster.   

 

7. CASHEWS - great source of zinc and taste delicious.

 

Low levels of zinc have been associated with both anxiety and depression. 

 

8. AVOCADO - packed with stress-relieving B vitamins. 

 

B Vitamins are needed for healthy nerve and brain cells and deficiency can result in feelings of anxiety.    

 

9. TURMERIC- a powerhouse

 

The active ingredient of turmeric is called curcumin - adding to its already impressive line-up of benefits antioxidant, antiinflammatory and liver support - it also lowers cortisol levels. 

 

Add some turmeric to your curry, add to tahini, olive oil and lemon juice for a yummy salad dressing... or try a turmeric latte 

 

10. LEAFY GREENS - rich in folate (B9)

 

Folate  is important in the production of mood regulation neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. 

 

Try to add leafy greens as a salad or lightly sauteed to every meal. 

 

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