Foods To Eat When You’re Stressed

Keep calm and carry on with these stress-relieving snacks.

A while back, Redbook Magazine asked me to share some recommendations for their article, Foods You Should Eat When You’re Stressed. I thought it would be helpful to re-post the advice during these times – the list includes easy, simple meals and snacks that will help steady your nervous system, keep your moods balanced and immune system strong. There are 23 tasty and nutritious food recommendations in total, offered by a wonderful panel of health, nutrition and wellness experts. Featured below are the tips I shared:

KALE SMOOTHIE

Or any smoothie that has a dark green, leafy vegetable (think Swiss chard or bok choy) at its base, really. They’re great sources of antioxidants and fiber for a much-needed energy boost, which will in turn help increase productivity — and hopefully decrease anxiety. Unlike processed or packaged food, these fresh veggies “produce an expansive, relaxing effect on the body, and help to relieve tension both mentally and physically,” says Lee. All hail, kale!

SWEET POTATOES DRIZZLED WITH COCONUT OIL

Lee recommends reaching for root vegetables because “they contain a ton of antioxidants that help fight harmful free radicals and toxins, which form because stress causes inflammation and can weaken our immune system.” Not to mention the natural sweetness of the potato, coupled with the coconut oil, can reduce your craving for refined sugar — you know, that urge you feel to grab a cookie (or five) when things start to go haywire at work. Choose the cookie and you’ll likely feel even more depleted, and eventually more stressed, later in the day. But opting for this sweet side dish will leave you feeling satisfied. If sweet potatoes aren’t really your style, feel free to swap sweet potatoes for yams, beets or parsnips if that’s more your jam.

SUPERFOOD SEEDS

Head to the health food section of your grocery store and stock up on oh-so-portable chia, hemp, or sunflower seeds. “High in protein and omega-3s, these superfood seeds will give you real, protein-packed energy and help you focus,” says Lee. Snack on them solo, add ’em to a salad or blend into a smoothie for a quick fix. No more stressing because you waited until the last minute to finish a project.

QUINOA

High in fiber? Check. A complete protein? Check. “Quinoa also contains magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels, balances blood sugar and aids in the transmission of nerve impulses — all of which help keep your stress and cortisol levels under control,” says Lee. Here’s some fun ways to eat quinoa while still getting a comfort-food fix.

CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

Spice up your classic lunch staple by swapping bread — which can make you feel sluggish and bloated — for lettuce. Lee says dark greens will help you stay clear and relaxed, while the healthy dose of protein from chicken will maintain your focus and calm. Plus, they’re just more fun to eat.

Read the full article with complete list HERE.

*Ready to improve your health?  CONTACT Molly to discuss your health and wellness goals.