For most of us, our reaction in a stressful situation would be laying our hands on anything we could find in the fridge or kitchen – healthy or unhealthy. But here is a listing of healthy stress-busting foods to crave for in stressful times.
Almonds are considered to be great stress busters as they help relieve anxiety, depression, and fatigue. They are packed with Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, Selenium, Magnesium, and Zinc.
Vitamin E and Zinc act as antioxidants that help fight the free radicals associated with stress whereas Vitamin B2 and magnesium are associated with the production of serotonin, which helps in counter-acting stress and elevates mood. Also, Selenium deficiency is linked to anxiety, depression and fatigue and almonds are a good source of Selenium.
Dig in a handful of almonds (5-8) every morning or use as an in-between munching snack. Mind the quantity though. It is high in Unsaturated fat (the healthy fat) but still Caloric!
The first thought striking the mind in a stressful situation is to jump for some creamy wrap or some saucy burger as these foods act as comfort foods and satisfy craving, instantly uplifting mood levels. Hence don’t deny the carb craving but opt for the right one. Oats are rich in complex carbs which helps in the production of serotonin – a feel-good chemical. And as mentioned earlier, Serotonin is a mood enhancer.
Sometimes stress can also be hunger related. Oats are high in fiber, hence helps in increasing satiety levels since they take longer to digest.
The mere egg is a powerhouse of nutrients as it is loaded with good amounts of proteins & essential amino acids, essential vitamins and minerals ranging from Vitamins A, B2, & B12, D, iron, magnesium, choline, selenium and phosphorus. Eggs also contain essential amino acids Tryptophan and Tyrosine which have many beneficial antioxidant properties. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin and melatonin, the relaxing hormones.
Eggs being high in protein help in satiety which in turn stops cravings for unhealthy foods and helps in maintaining glucose levels, which reduces your chances of anxiety and stress and is a key to stabilizing mood. An egg a day for breakfast will surely keep you going through the entire day.
4. Green Leafy Veg:
Green leafy veg is not something what one would crave for especially in a stressful situation, but they are actually great stress busters. It is mainly because of the vitamins and minerals they are loaded with. GLV’s are rich in magnesium—a mineral that’s essential for many chemical reactions. Magnesium helps to relax nerves and muscles. It also prevents anxiety and depression.
They are also high in the amino acid tryptophan, which helps in mood elevation and promotion of sleep. And that’s not all, dark green GLV’s are rich in folate, which helps in reducing the stress hormone cortisol simultaneously producing mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which help relieve stress.
Consume a bowl of salad every day or just blend a green smoothie/juice for yourself.
Many studies have shown that orange energizes and enhances the mood. The smell of orange too is very soothing and instantly lifts the mood. Oranges have a high amount of Vitamin C which helps reduce both the physical and psychological effects of stress by lowering levels of stress hormone – cortisol. Also, being rich in Vitamin C, they act as anti-oxidants that helps fight the free radicals associated with stress.
Have an orange as an evening snack or have a glass of fresh orange juice after a workout.
Indulge yourself in these foods the next time you feel the blues and make your way to a stress-free day.