Keep your cool (or regain it)
Foods that can help you find a sense of calm during stressful times.
These slender stalks are high in folate, which is essential for keeping your cool. Try ’em steamed, then added to salads, or broiled until crisp. Check out these recipes: http://www.prevention.com/food/cook/8-awesome-asparagus-recipes
Cashews are an especially good source of zinc-a 1-ounce serving has 11 percent of your Recommended Dietary Allowance. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it’s important to get some every day. Chop some up and toss them into a chicken stir fry.
Yep, that’s right, chocolate. Besides the healthy antioxidants, it has an undeniable link to mood. Don’t go crazy and binge eat. In moderation, chocolate does actually make you feel better. Note: Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm.
Perhaps the most recommended bedtime soothers around. Research says it calms and will reduce anxiety symptoms. Just pour a cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of the dried flowers (you can buy chamomile either loose or in tea bags at health food stores) and steep for 10 minutes. Try having a cup every night: Turn off the TV, the computer, your phone, and settle down for a peaceful end to the day.
Defend against the toll of stress
Foods to combat the deleterious effect that stress and anxiety have on your body.
These creamy fruits stress-proof your body. Rich in glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage. They also contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and more folate than any other fruit.
Another vitamin C powerhouse, oranges have the added benefit of being totally portable so you can take them anywhere.
Vampires and other myths aside, garlic is jam-packed with powerful antioxidants. Because stress weakens our immune system, we need friends like garlic, which can toughen it back up. As long as you sauté it in broth, not oil, you can add it liberally to all the meals on the plan.
This is not only better for the planet, it’s also better for people. It has more antioxidants—including vitamins C and E and beta-carotene—than grain-fed beef, and it doesn’t have added hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs. Not only can it reduce your chances of having cancer and cardiovascular disease, but it can reduce depression.
Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin, and they’ve been linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, including sharper cognition. But all berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress.
Yep, chock full of zinc, these sea crustaceans fight stress. And don’t make any aphrodisiac jokes. Sex is another fantastic stress reliever.