Beat Stress with Food!

Stress is inevitable! Whether we experience stress for a short period because of a deadline for work or school, or we experience a long duration of chronic stress, stress can send our body through the ringer. Ideally, it’ll be great to omit those triggers from our lives but that may not be a tangible solution. However, being able to consume certain foods that can help cushion this time can be a great way to manage the difficult time. Follow these helpful tips the next time you find yourself stressed out:

Eat foods with complex B vitamins

Stress can be the culprit for sudden mood changes and especially our energy. Consuming foods with a variety of B vitamins like B12 (cobalamin), folic acid (B9), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), or thiamin (B1) can help prevent or improve these side effects. Specifically, eating foods rich in B12 can help improve (and even boost!) your energy. Foods rich in B12 include eggs, fish/shellfish, poultry, and meat. Additionally, the combination of B12, folic acid, and riboflavin is known to help improve depression, and can actually release hormones that can improve mood and sleeping pattern. These foods include poultry, salmon, beans, dark leafy greens, beets, and almonds. The next time you can anticipate a tough time coming on, be sure to add a variety of vegetables and lean proteins to your meals.

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Eat foods rich in Vitamin C

Getting sick during a stressful time can be the last thing we want, but is very likely to happen simply because stress can, in fact, lower the immune system. When you’re stressed, the body releases “stress hormones” that may cause inflammation, reduce white blood cells, and reduce our body’s ability to fight off viruses and infections. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C during this time can be a great way to make sure your immune system is up to par. Be sure to include oranges or strawberries in your snacks to help give you that vitamin C boost.

Eat magnesium rich foods

This mineral is often overlooked when trying to improve your quality of life. However, magnesium is a key nutrient that can help reduce anxiety and relax tense muscles. This can be beneficial to your stress management as well as improving your sleep quality. Foods rich in magnesium include: quinoa, almonds, cashews, peanuts, black beans, spinach, tofu, and sesame seeds. Incorporating these foods into your meals or snacks can be a great way to maintain a feel good mood during a stressful time.

Regardless of our ability to avoid stressful situations because life simply…happens, our ability to manage it is key. Being able to eat smart and with a purpose can not only benefit our stress levels, but it can help reach our goals a little easier and faster.

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