7 STRESS REDUCING FOODS: Is The Food You Eat Causing Anxiety And Weakening Your Immune System?…..Short Answer: YES!
So you’re locked up in your house with nowhere to go and nothing to do. You’re tired of your partner (love em, but tired). You have a new found respect and appreciation for teachers because your kids are driving you up the wall. We can conclude that you know a thing or two about stress and anxiety and I haven’t even mentioned work yet. But did you know that some of the foods you’re consuming are creating a toxic environment within your body, which makes fighting off colds, flus, viruses etc even harder? Your body was designed to protect you, literally! But when you don’t feed it properly it starts to malfunction and breakdown. Yeah, I know you feel alright now, but wait until you reach your mid 30s and up and you just aren’t able to bounce back like you did in your 20s. If you’ve already reached this point, then you know I'm not lying. No one is spared! Lifestyle and diet changes don’t happen overnight so here are 7 stress reducing foods that you can start incorporating into your “not so healthy” meals right now to combat anxiety and depression, boost your immune system and have you feeling good. You deserve it!
1. GUAC PLEASE!
Avocadoes are packed with B vitamins which studies have shown assist in the synthesis and regulation of dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are designed to regulate mood as well as clinical depression and anxiety.
A number of observational studies indicate a relationship between a poor diet and worse mental health. Many of the foods considered to improve “diet quality,” and, by implication, mood, resemble the foods from the “Mediterranean Diet.”
Serotonin and dopamine both contribute to feeling happy and positive (who doesn’t want more of that especially right now). You can easily add avocadoes to your diet by putting them in your smoothies and my favourite, spreading some on toast.
2. SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
Experts all agree that inflammation, although necessary as a short term way for the body to fight off unwanted substances, if it persists for too long though can cause and contribute to many diseases and disorders such as:
- Heart Disease
- Auto-immune disorders
- Depression and more
Adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your diet coupled with healthy lifestyle changes can help to significantly reduce chronic inflammation in the body. So add some spice to your life and meals! Spices like turmeric and cinnamon can easily be added to your smoothie or yogurt. Ginger is great too! I drink ginger tea almost every morning and add a half a teaspoon of turmeric to it for the extra benefits.
TRY ADDING SOME OF THESE HERBS AND SPICES TO THE MIX
3. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
This powerhouse oil is a staple if you are eating a Mediterranean diet and if you are then you are already experiencing the immune system, anxiety and depression combating effects of these foods. A particular study done in 2013, suggested that olive oil has an anxiety and depression lowering effect on the brain. Start incorporating olive oil by cooking with it as well as drizzling in over things like salad, pasta, and yes add a bit to your smoothie! To ensure you are getting all of the benefits of the powerful oil, cook with low or no heat.
You should enjoy the food you eat however these foods should also be fueling your body and keeping it healthy and strong enough to defend itself. Your immune system plays a key role. So eating more foods that help to fortify and boost your immune system is key. One such food is chickpeas. Chickpeas are loaded with zinc and just one cup gives you 25% of the daily recommended amount of zinc you need to aid your immune system.
Some of my favourite chickpea dishes include:
5. BERRY, BERRY GOOD!
Berries are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals that can cause cancer, anxiety disorders, premature aging as well as a number of other diseases in the body. A diet high in antioxidants includes foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and spices. Try adding berries to your smoothie, yogurt, salads and oatmeal. It looks great, tastes great and it’s healthy for you. Win, win, win!!!
6. GO NUTS!
A 2013 study conducted by Harvard researchers stated, "We found that people who ate nuts every day lived longer, healthier lives than people who didn't eat nuts."
Nuts are high in healthy fats that support the heart and brain. Adding cashews, almonds walnuts etc can not only add flavour and crunch to some of your favourite dishes but it's also a great snacking food because just a handful of nuts can keep you feeling satiated between meals due to their high caloric value. Which means less trips to the kitchen for a snack out of boredem #quarantinelife. Try adding nuts to your cereal, oatmeal, smoothies and salads.
Last but certainly not list on this awesome anxiety busting and immune system boosting foods list is parsley. Parsley is high in calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin k, this super food is no joke. Adding it to your everyday meals and my favourite, adding a few sprigs to my green smoothie helps reduce inflammation which we mentioned earlier aids with anxiety and immunity. Parsley is also high in iron and contains chlorophyll which promotes the production of red blood cells (you’re going to need those) and helps absorb toxins in the intestines.
TRY THIS AMAZING IMMUNE SYSTEM BOOSTING GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE. SHARE IT!!!
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