Tuesday, October 29, 2013

De-Stress with Food

The holidays are right around the corner….I know, scary isn’t it. 83% of Americans agree that stress can have an impact on their health, but only 29% say they know how to handle stress well. We all know that exercise helps stress, but did you know a variety of foods can help reduce stress-induced symptoms?
Certain foods contain vitamins and minerals that actually reduce the symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

Avocados and Bananas: Both of these fruits are loaded with potassium, an excellent mineral that
helps keep blood pressure low. Make a batch of guacamole, or a protein shake with bananas. Just add some slices of avocado to a salad or a banana to your morning cereal.

Fish: Fish such as salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can actually calm your nerves. In one study, students who were preparing for an exam, took omega-3 supplements and reported a 20% drop in their anxiety levels. Most types of fish contain important B vitamins, which are also stress-busters. Many types of fish are high in vitamin B12, which is particularly vital to serotonin production. In fact, a lack of vitamin B12 can lead to depression. For lunch, have a tuna salad or sandwich or add some grilled salmon to your salad 
Blueberries: This little blue power house is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which are potent stress relievers. As an added bonus, blueberries are low in calories - can't get better than that. Blueberries are also high in fiber, which can help alleviate digestive problems that arise during times of stress. Mix into plain non-fat Greek yogurt or oatmeal, or sprinkle on a salad.

Almonds: To replenish your body’s vitamins and minerals, grab a handful of almonds. Almonds are packed with vitamin B2 (riboflavin), magnesium, and zinc. B vitamins and magnesium help boost serotonin production, which is a feel-good chemical your body produces mainly to regulates your
mood and anxiety level. Zinc is essential to maintaining ideal energy and hormone levels. Both are linked to stress management.

Milk: Milk contains vitamins B2 and B12. These vitamins contain antioxidants that help destroy free radicals that are connected with stress. My preference, almond milk is also both high in B vitamins. Do you remember when we talked about having milk/almond milk to help you sleep - it  contains tryptophan which helps you to relax. Add milk to your smoothie or protein shake to make it a bit creamy and keep you calm!
Looking for Easy: Berry Radical is the ticket.
1 teaspoon Berry Radical
1 cup milk (almond milk)
1 teaspoon organic sugar (or Raw Organic Stevia)
Warm up a cup of milk and mix all the ingredients together.

A cup will give you a natural boost in the afternoon plus help fight off stress with high levels of antioxidants and yes, blueberries too!

I love the holidays but they do add stress to my life and trust me, I have to work on my health just like you do. I have to keep reminding myself to stay on target with exercise and not indulge in too many yummy, but bad-for-me snacks! But we can do it....a little bit at a time.

Your Fairly Green Buddy

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