We all seem to be stressed more often than not these days. You may have a fool proof way of dealing with it, or you may be struggling to find a good coping mechanism. Many of us, myself included, will sometimes eat our feelings away, which may help in the moment, but we may regret that pint of Ben and Jerry’s a couple hours later. However, there are foods that can make you feel good and can still reduce your stress.
- Lavender, mint, chamomile, or lemongrass – While you technically don’t eat these, you can still reap their calming benefits through a cup of tea or even aromatherapy.
- Berries – They are full of antioxidant, which can protect your cells from stress and reduce depressive feelings.
- Spinach – Dark leafy greens are full of a mineral called magnesium which may act as a calming mechanism.
- Dark chocolate – Exercise moderation here, but having some chocolate at least 70% cocoa will increase blood flow to the brain and make you less anxious.
If none of these foods appeal to you, don’t worry! Consider baking or cooking something you enjoy to distract yourself from whatever your stresses may be. Or you don’t even have to eat! Exercise, paint or draw, play with your pet, the important thing is to find something that works for you. And everything in moderation, if, every now and then, you just really want to devour an entire pint of ice cream, you can as long as it is not an everyday occurrence.
By Grace Stott, UNH Masters Student and UVAC Nutrition Intern