Sweets To Make You Sweeter

Ready for some good news? Some of the tastiest foods out there are also the best for fighting stress and calming yourself down!

Feeling overwhelmed? Grab some dark chocolate or beautiful berries and nosh on!

If your go-to way to manage stress is devouring a bag of potato chips (because crunching that poor little potato into submission feels oh-so-good), read on.

Stash some of them in your snack drawer so you can grab a snack and get back to work, refueled, refocused, and less overwhelmed. Even if your stress sends you into munching overdrive, none of these picks will derail your weight loss efforts, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Really, we’re not screwing with you. A study out of the Nestlé Research Center (of course) found that those who deemed themselves “highly stressed” had lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in their system after two weeks eating chocolate everyday for two weeks. Don’t worry, we checked out another study just to verify, and they also found that dark chocolate buffers the effects of stress in humans. So it’s official; break off a square to celebrate.

STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries are surprisingly high in vitamin C, which has been proven to have a significant effect on stress levels. Increased vitamin C consumption has been proven to help people cope with stressful situations. Levels of cortisol (one of the stress hormones) decreased rapidly in subjects given vitamin C supplement, and the blood pressure of the study participants returned to normal more quickly in the vitamin C group than in the control group.
– via Eat This Not That

Essential Superfoods For Smoothies

Want to start your day off on the right foot? Then reach for a few of these superfoods and make yourself a stress-busting smoothie!

Asparagus is rich in the B-complex vitamin folate, which produces dopamine in the brain that brings on feelings of happiness and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Maca is a root that is usually available in the form of a pill, powder, or as a liquid. You can add a tablespoon or two of Maca powder in your superfood smoothies recipes to get the benefits of improved energy and mood and reduction in adrenal stress.

Avocados are one of the best superfoods for smoothies because they are rich sources of Vitamins B6 and folate that reduce stress levels quickly by bringing down the blood sugar spikes that lead to anxiety. Another added benefit of using Avacados is that they make the smoothies rich and creamy.

Almonds are natural calmers and adding them in your superfood smoothies recipes will greatly help people suffering from depression, stress and moderate levels of anxiety. Almonds are particularly rich in Selenium, the deficiency of which causes fatigue, depression and anxiety in people.

Oranges contain the stress busting vitamin C, which supports adrenal glands during times of emotional stress.
Spinach is loaded with Vitamin C and magnesium both of which are known to prevent anxiety. Magnesium regulates cortisol levels and promote feelings of well-being. Just one cup of spinach can cover up to 40% of your recommended requirements leaving you feeling relaxed in no time at all, so make sure to include them often in your superfood smoothies recipes.

Oats has three powerful stress relief ingredients –  B vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. They are highly helpful in promoting the antidepressant hormone serotonin in the body and are a great comfort food in times of stress.

Walnuts are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which help in reducing excessive cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. The vitamin E in Walnuts keeps your mind alert, while melatonin helps to regulate sleep.

Blueberries are small, but pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them powerful superfoods that reduce stress.
– via Unstress Yourself

Do you have any of these key ingredients in your pantry to help yourself calm down and stay in control?