Which Foods Can Help Ease Stress?

If you are feeling the effects of stress this month, you are not alone.  In fact, April is Stress Awareness Month.  If taxes and busier schedules have you feeling less than relaxed right now, make sure to include movement in your schedule every day, and indulge in good-for-you foods shown to help relieve stress and its effects on your body.  Foods like these have all been shown to help make you feel better from the inside out.  However you choose to enjoy them, they are a must to help kick stress to the curb:

  • Salmon – It’s not just an excellent way to add protein and heart-healthy omega 3s to your diet; this tender and flavorful fish can also help boost serotonin (also known as the feel-good hormone) and reduce inflammation to help you feel better.
  • Sweet Potatoes – Whether you eat them mashed as a side or diced in a soup, by including them on your menu, you’re doing your blood pressure a favor, thanks to the high levels of potassium in sweet potatoes.  Potassium is essential in the delicate balance of a healthy blood pressure, which might be a little higher than normal right now, due to your above average stress level.
  • Nuts and Seeds – These tasty little guys are a good way to add magnesium to your diet, a mineral that affects muscle tension and the regulation of your heart beat.  Take them with you for a handy snack, sprinkle them over your salads or cook them into morning oatmeal to help keep muscles happy and relaxed.
  • Beans – Need a little more serotonin and dopamine in your day (really, who couldn’t use more of these feel-good hormones?!)?  Make sure you’re getting plenty of B vitamins with beans.  Black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and more are loaded with these vitamins essential to help you keep stress at bay.

How do you enjoy these foods to help keep stress in check?