Stress and anxiety can lead to emotional eating and tons of snacking, which is fine, but only if you're choosing the right foods to calm your body down. A lot of nutrients can enhance your mood, while fatty, comfort foods can drag you down because they tend to be harder to digest. Reach for these four foods the next time you're feeling anxious.
This fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin B6 and folic acid, which have been shown to reduce stress by helping to maintain proper nervous system functioning. Avocados also provide a heart-healthy serving of potassium (Fun fact: 1 avocado has 975mg and women need 2,800mg a day) which helps regulate blood pressure. Cut in slices and add it to your salad, or invite some friends over and make some guacamole.
One cup of cooked broccoli contains twice as much Vitamin C (which helps control blood pressure and cortisol levels) as a medium sized orange. Vitamin C also strengthens the immune systems, which can be weakened by stress. You can mix some broccoli into a morning omelette, or dip some in hummus for an afternoon snack.
15 almonds contains 20% of your daily recommended value of magnesium (a mineral that also helps manage cortisol levels). Studies show that magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system and promotes better sleep. Grab some almonds and munch on them in the morning, afternoon, or night. (Fun fact: 30g serving is the size of a shot glass).
This fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids and a natural mood booster. If levels of Cortisol (known as the stress hormone) remain high it can wreck havoc on your system. Try to enjoy a fillet for lunch or dinner and pair it with a side of broccoli if you're feeling extra anxious.