Have you ever tried to eat yourself happy before? Here’s what I mean – It’s been a terribly long week; you’re stressed out, and you don’t know what else to do, so you mow down on a bag of Doritos or you manage to scarf back an entire pint of double chocolate brownie fudge ice cream. You might feel better for a half hour or so, but once your body crashes from the sugar high, you’re left feeling worse than you initially were – You’re still stressed out and depressed, and now you’ve also put on five pounds.
What If I told you that there was a way that you could eat yourself happy without feeling like total crap later? In fact, what if I told you that there were foods you could eat that would not only help you feel better in the short term, but also provide you with incredible nutritional value that your body requires in order to feel amazing every hour of the day? Sound good? Then keep reading – It’s absolutely possible.
9 Foods You Need To Keep On Hand That Fight Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
This is a perfect food to have on the list, especially because winter’s coming. It’s warm, it’s comforting, and it’s so heartwarming that it causes your brain to produce serotonin, the feel-good chemical.
Eat it any morning that you’re feeling stressed out for an instant mood boost. Bonus if you have children: the beta-glucan in this magical cereal will help your little ones stay sharp and focused on their learning all day long.
It might not be your favorite vegetable in the world, but it’s actually quite helpful in stabilizing your mood and keeping your cool when things get a little hectic. These long green stalks contain a ton of folic acid and B vitamins which can help your body produce serotonin and keep you happy all day long.
They’re really not bad when sautéed in butter or steamed and drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. Pick up a bunch the next time you’re out at the grocery store so that you’ll be prepared the next time you start to feel a little moody.
7. Various Types Of Berries
Every berry you can buy is absolutely loaded with Vitamin C, which is not only helpful when it comes to combating stress but will also help you fight off the common cold (it’s definitely that time of year again). They’re tasty, both fresh and frozen, and can be eaten on their own or tossed into smoothies or salads.
If you’re looking to get the most out of your berry intake, reach for blueberries before any others. They’re chalked full of antioxidants that provide a laundry list of benefits including better cognition skills. They’re especially good to have on hand if you’re expecting to have a particularly excruciating day.
In putting beef on the list, I mean organic grass-fed, pasteurized beef, not the stuff that you find packaged up in the meat aisle of your local grocery store. Grass-fed beef has way more antioxidants in it than its commercially raised counterpart – Including beta-carotene as well as Vitamins C and E – and isn’t laced with other antibiotics, hormones, or other chemicals and preservatives. It’s also lower in fat and has two to four times the levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in it – Eating organic, grass-fed beef could lower your risk of some cancers, and inflammatory diseases, and can even help battle against depression.
That said, you won’t want to eat an entire cow. Stick to small portions and try to work your beef into something at least semi-healthy, like a beef and vegetable stew or a casserole with a ton of veggies in it.
You’ve already learned that Vitamin C can help you combat stress, so it makes complete sense that oranges would also be on this list.
The great thing about oranges is that there are so many different varieties that it’s nearly impossible to not find one that you like and because their skin is so thick, they can easily be taken with you anywhere in your purse, gym bag, and or vehicle. They can be eaten alone as a quick, handy, and convenient snack or thrown into a salad for an Asian-inspired twist.
I can’t tell you how much I absolutely adore this spice. Seriously, I use it in just about everything I make, from scrambled eggs to vegetable stir-fry and even cheese biscuits. It’s jam-packed with a ton of antioxidants has been linked to keeping heart disease and cancer at bay, and can even help you fight off the common cold.
There’s almost nothing that you can’t add this magical herb to—meats, soups, sauces, veggies, you name it—so you can experiment as much as you need to and figure out what works for you and your family best.
I personally enjoy roasting some garlic in the oven and making it into a sandwich spread or sliced very thinly into homemade cream of mushroom soup.
If you’ve been feeling a little anxious and/or depressed recently, you might want to seriously consider picking up a jar of these tasty nuts the next time you’re browsing the aisles of your local grocery store – They’re full of zinc (In fact a one ounce serving of them carries 11 percent of your daily requirement), which has been shown to help you shake off that anxiety and boost your mood.
If you’re not a fan of cashews, feel free to substitute any other nut. They may not have the same high levels of zinc, but any is better than none (our bodies don’t store zinc either, so try and get some into you daily). Throw them into salads for some texture, or keep a bowl on your desk at work to snack on.
The term “superfood” is gaining much popularity these days and is becoming quite loosely used. That said, avocados are a food that definitely deserves the name – They’re absolutely packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and dietary fiber which your body needs to function at its optimal level.
Eating these miracle fruits will not only put you in a better mood by reducing your stress, but you also might notice that you have more energy and your skin, hair and nails are glowing.
Avocados are great in salads, made into guacamole, or even sliced up and used as a sandwich topping to add an additional layer of dimension and flavor.
I left this one until last because it’s clearly the best item on the list. Believe it or not, it’s true! – You can indeed eat chocolate to help bust your stress without having to deal with the after-sugar high crash, if you reach for the right kind of chocolate when you’re stressed out.
Dark chocolate is best – It has a ton of antioxidants in it that have been known to lower blood pressure and give you a feeling of sheer bliss and tranquility. Let a square or two melt on your tongue the next time your anxiety is beginning to spike – Taste it, and experience the texture change as it melts in your mouth. By the time you’re finished, I assure you you’ll feel better.
So the next time life seems to be spiraling out of control, and you feel like you’re not going to be able to hold on much longer, simply snack on one or two (or a few!) of the above items and within almost no time at all, you’ll be able to feel your grip on things getting tighter.
And always remember – All things in moderation. While it might feel great to eat an entire beef roast and wash it down with a couple of chocolate bars, you’re certainly not going to remain healthy for very long eating like that. Keep your portions small and controlled and remember to drink lots of water to help detoxify your system.
What kinds of foods do you tend to turn to when you’re feeling stressed out? Are they different from the ones listed above? Let us know!