Superfoods - Squash Stress

Stress can take its toll physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to combat stress...starting with the foods you eat.

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You and I both know that life has a way of getting the best of us some days.

Whether it happens because of having to work too many hours, shuttling the kids all over town for their activities, taking care of household chores and bills, or dealing with personal or family matters, stress can take its toll on you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to combat stress...starting with the foods you eat. 

One good step is to avoid caffeine and alcohol when life seems particularly stressful.

Many don't realize it, but stimulants and depressants like these can both zap your energy and rob you of the fuel you need to successfully cope with tension. Foods high in sugar should also be avoided as well, as they cause your blood sugar levels to spike then dip rapidly, which can in turn make your energy levels spike and dip at the same rate. 

However, there are several superfoods out there that provide you with the energy and nutrition your body needs to keep stress in check

For example, asparagus, which is high in folic acid, can help level out your moods. Folic acid and vitamin B are key players in producing serotonin, a chemical that gets you into a good mood. 

And though we may hear negative things regarding red meat, it can actually be a wise dinner option for a stressed-out family. Beef's high levels of iron, zinc and B vitamins can not only help get you into a good mood, but help you stay there as well.  An experienced butcher can help you select lean cuts for the healthiest options   In fact, most supermarkets label their beef so that it will be easy to select the leanest cuts. Also, don't forget portion control.

Milk can really do a body good. It is chock full of calcium, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins B2 and B12, and helps strengthen bones and promotes healthy cell regeneration.  Paired with a healthy whole-grain cereal choice in the morning, low-fat milk is a great way to start your day and arm yourself to do battle with the stressors that await you.  Cottage cheese is also another great dairy choice, and when coupled with a fruit that’s high in vitamin C, it helps the body battle free radicals that run rampant during your most stressed periods. 

Dairy calcium has also been shown to be beneficial in a healthy weight loss program.

It may sound nuts, but almonds are also an awesome choice when it comes to arming yourself against stress. Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. However, they are high in magnesium, zinc, as well as vitamins B2, C, and E and unsaturated fats, all which are great warriors against free radicals, which have been shown to potentially cause cancers and heart disease.

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Page Updated 4:34 AM Sunday 11/1/2015