Are you feeling a little overwhelmed with all your homework and tests coming up? Check out these superfoods to help you relieve some of that stress. WAIT. What's a superfood? Superfoods are foods and snacks that are high in nutrients and you need nutrients for a balanced and healthy diet. Superfoods are great because they target the body in so many ways. Check out the list below to see our suggestions of some superfood snacks and foods to help you de-stress on those study breaks.
1. DARK CHOCOLATE
We're going to start this list off with a fun one. Who doesn't love chocolate? Turns out a moderate portion (let's just say a few bites) is actually healthy for you. When you're super stressed out, your body releases hormones like cortisol and catecholamines and pure dark chocolate (again, in moderation) can help to reduce this production! They've even got antioxidants which are good for the body too.
This is a yummy- nutrient packed food that's a great addition to your breakfast, sandwiches or chips! Not only is it packed with potassium, vitamins B and E, which are all great for the body in times of stress, but it's a healthy fat to help keep you full longer than other junky snacks.
3. GREEN TEA or CHAMOMILE
Teas are a great drink when you're feeling anxious. Not only are they delicious and low in calories but they contain catechins which is an antioxidant that's great for the body. They help reduce inflammation, support the immune system and much more. Plus, chamomile tea has a calming effect, perfect for helping one settle down for bed!
Craving sugar when you're stressed isn't uncommon. It tastes good and that'll make you happy, right? Wrong. Stress often leads to an increase in blood sugar and adding excess sugar to your diet will only hurt. If you're looking for something sweet, try a healthier option with oatmeal. If you're going to eat packets of oatmeal, try to get whole grain oats with fiber or reduced sugar.
5. NUTS AND SEEDS
A major nutrient for nuts and seeds is Magnesium. It's really important in your cell function, a balance for other nutrients in the body and once again, impacts neurotransmitters, like GABA. Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and therefore produces an anxiety reducing effect. Magnesium binds and stimulates GABA to help promote its production meaning Magnesium can help moderate your anxiety levels!
When you think of bananas, think of potassium. They're a yummy quick source of this mineral which is known to help improve alertness. So when you're feeling a bit groggy reading page 567 of your history textbook too many times, grab a banana!
If you're not already aware, you have bacteria in your digestive tract. Don't be grossed out, it can be a good thing! You actually have bacteria all over your body that's good bacteria and it keeps you healthy. Sometimes it can get out of wack and that's where yogurt plays a helpful hand. In addition to being a good source of calcium, yogurt can contain billions of healthy bacteria cultures to balance out your system. When picking a yogurt, don't forget to read the label. Make sure you're picking one that mentions it's a probiotic and make sure you pick one without a lot of sugar. Greek yogurt even has protein!
8. TURKEY BREAST
This one is actually more powerful than you'd think! Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers in your brain that transmit messages and information. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, the "sleep neurotransmitter" so this is a helpful food in times of high stress to help moderate anxiety. Surprising right?
9. SALMON Similar to avocados, salmon is a great source of healthy fats. When you think salmon, think omega-3 fatty acids. Once again, this superfood helps moderate cortisol levels when eaten regularly.
10. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
We're talking Magnesium again! Remember, magnesium binds and stimulates GABA to help promote its production meaning Magnesium can help moderate your anxiety levels!
Avoid excess sugar when you're stressed. There are numerous reasons why but like we said earlier, a major one is it will increase your blood sugar and this can cause stress on your body if it's for prolonged periods of time.
We went over a lot of information in this article! Have questions? Leave a comment below or reach out to us at HEYgeneral@outlook.com.