It's no secret that stress can wreak havoc on your physique as well as your mental well-being. When stressors rear their ugly heads, people commonly resort to binging on junk food, shirk their training, and engage in other habits counterproductive to hitting their fitness goals. Believe it or not, however, making certain foods regular staples in your diet offers a great way to prophylactically beat stress!
Rather than noshing on comfort foods once stress sets in, incorporate these five superfoods into your regular routine to keep anxiety and other negative emotions at bay:
Research has linked depression to low levels of folic acid. Asparagus contains plenty of this essential micronutrient, with one cup packing approximately 2/3 of your daily folic acid value. Luckily, there's no shortage of tastebud-tingling ways to prepare asparagus. Try sautéing it for an omelet, grilling it to go alongside your lean meat, or steaming and flavoring it with a little no-calorie butter spray.
Almonds contain plenty of vitamins B2 and E, which help boost our immune systems during periods of stress. Munching on 1/4 cup of almonds each day - or spreading some almond butter on fruit slices or whole wheat crackers - can provide great stress relief.
Oranges are often said to be the breakfast of champions, and for good reason! Oranges are packed with vitamin C, which aids in reducing blood pressure and the stress hormone cortisol. Downing a glass of freshly squeezed OJ or eating a whole orange will give you a quick vitamin C burst to help you beat stress throughout the day.
Oatmeal contains tons of healthy, digestion-promoting fiber and helps boost levels of the calming hormone serotonin. Thick-cut, old fashioned oats are preferable here to the instant variety. The higher fiber content of coarse oats means they take longer to digest, thereby producing a longer-lasting feeling of calmness.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help you feel more at ease by keeping cortisol and adrenaline levels steady when you're stressed. Salmon represents one of the best sources of omega-3's. Eating four ounces of salmon at least three times per week will do volumes to keep you relaxed when your stress hormones go haywire.