Are you aware that you can transform your life by changing your diet to include foods that reduce stress?
Let me ask you this: Are you guilty of emotional eating when you’re stressed?
Do you dig into a tub of ice cream or wolf down a bar of chocolate when life makes too many demands of you?
The pleasure of the moment is great but the stress does not go away.
What if I told you that there is a way to eat to beat stress?
Foods that reduce stress
I know what you’re thinking. How will food help me with fighting stress?
Choose to include foods that reduce stress in your diet and you function better. You will be able to cope with the many demands of life today.
I’ve created a 7-Day Superfood Meal Plan to help you get started with a plan to eat healthy foods that reduce stress. Just print and keep handy when you’re planning your menus and in no time at all, you can kiss stress goodbye.
Just click the graphic below to get immediate access to it.
This post is a deep dive into how to improve the quality of your life by fine-tuning your diet to eat superfoods that reduce stress.
You want your whole family on board for this lifestyle change. So call a family meeting to discuss it and then proceed.
I used YouTube videos wherever possible to sap any resistance to a new healthy diet.
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are foods that are power-packed with nutrients. They are called superfoods because of the effect on the body from regularly eating them.
The benefits of superfoods
Superfoods give your health a giant boost. Research proves that they are packed with minerals and vitamins that are vital for good health.
This article highlights the health benefits of superfoods:
When incorporated into a well-balanced diet, these foods can promote heart health, weight loss, improve energy levels and even reduce the effects of aging.
Clearly, adding these superfoods in your diet would be a really wise move.
10 superfoods that reduce stress
1. GREEN LEAFY VEGGIES
I know what you’re thinking. Your family will definitely not buy into this if they know they will have to eat stuff like spinach and kale.
Let’s look at why they need to. Leafy green veggies are nutrient-dense so leaving them out of your eating plan is foolish.
Check out this YouTube video which gives you the inside scoop on all the vitamins that green leafy veggies pack:
So what’s the link between leafy green vegetables and stress?
According to 8 Foods That Help Fight Stress:
Leafy greens contain folate, a vitamin that helps produce the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
So, logically if you want to be happy eat your greens. Take the family to a farmer’s market and have fun shopping.
But just how do you prepare leafy green veggies to entice your picky family? Who better than Jamie Oliver to learn from.
If you’re still not convinced about this superfood, The 13 Healthiest Leafy Green Vegetables is a must read.
Sounds really boring, doesn’t it? Something that Grandma cooked up back in the day. Instant cereal is so quick and easy. But this is one stress-busting food you need to include in your diet.
Oatmeal is often described as comfort food. Regular eating of oats boosts the release of serotonin which makes you feel calm and less stressed.
But here’s the thing with oatmeal. The benefits to your overall health far outweigh the time spent cooking it up.
Take a look at the advantages of eating oatmeal regularly: This one addition to your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, help with weight loss and protect you from cancer.
Let’s look at the nutrients that this whole-grain food contains:
• Antioxidants which help ward off cancer
• Fibre which helps with digestion and so helps with weight loss
• Lowers cholesterol and stabilizes blood pressure
• Reduces the risk of heart disease
• Regulates blood sugar level
Eating oats daily contributes to your optimum health. When you feel good, you are better able to handle the challenges that life hurls at you. So less stress from goals and tasks not being met.
If you’re hesitating about the time it takes to cook oats, here’s a YouTube video which shows you a quick and simple way to do it. Make it in the evening to save time in the morning.
Here’s Chef Robert Irvine’s recipe to try as well:
3. DARK CHOCOLATE
Everyone knows the joy of eating chocolate. You also know the guilt of finishing off a whole slab by yourself and craving more.
If you love chocolate and want to enjoy eating it daily, start eating dark chocolate that has 70% cocoa. You may not like it at first because it is not as sweet as the chocolate you’re used to.
So what’s the deal with dark chocolate?
Let’s examine research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic on the benefits of eating dark chocolate in this YouTube video:
To sum up, dark chocolate is good for you because it:
• Fights off cancer
• Reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes
• Improves brain function
• Reduces stress
The plus with dark chocolate is that you cannot binge on it even if you try. So it is truly a guilt-free pleasure you can indulge in.
It’s trendy to eat sushi today. One ingredient frequently used in sushi is salmon. Like dark chocolate, you can eat salmon without guilt because it is so rich in so many nutrients that the body needs.
Salmon is most prized for the high content of omega 3 fatty acids.
The article Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements for Heart Disease
points out the powerful advantages of omega 3 fatty acids:
• Lower blood pressure
• Lessens the risk of heart attacks and strokes
• Helps reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis
• Helps reduce the risk of cancer
If you eat salmon regularly, your stress levels will be more manageable.
In a stressful situation, for example, a physical attack, the body instinctively faces the choice of whether to fight or flee. The anxiety hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. However, Omega 3 Fatty Acids in salmon boosts serotonin and controls the release of these stress hormones making the situation less stressful.
Check out this Tasty video for 5 interesting ways to prepare salmon:
Blueberries are an easy start to transforming your family’s diet especially if you have fussy eaters. It’s a quick and easy lunch box filler or a grab and go treat for busy teens.
This is the one superfood on this list that you must try. Watch this YouTube video which gives you the rundown on the advantages of eating blueberries. All claims are backed by research.
To summarize. Blueberries:
• Help with urinary tract issues
• Are good for your heart
• Fight cancer
• Help with digestion
• Boost memory and ward off nervous system disorders
• Help prevent eye problems
• Strengthens the immune system
But what do you do if your stressed-out teen hates the colour or taste of blueberries?
Here are two easy peasy recipes your teens will love:
Quick, easy to make and delicious as well.
A treat your teen will not be able to resist.
There are many benefits to having turkey on your menu a few times a week. It is a low-fat source of protein and has:
• selenium which helps the body fight cancer
• tryptophan which produces serotonin that acts as a mood booster
• vitamin B3 which is good for heart health, skin and brain function
• vitamin B6 which improves muscle tone and promotes the production of red blood cells and antibodies
Here are 2 finger licking turkey recipes for you to try
Butter herb turkey breast
Moist turkey breast
Are you a tea or coffee drinker? Current research advises that drinking tea is better for your health and well – being.
The British are famous for their belief that a ‘ cuppa ‘ will help to solve a problem.
But have you heard of the Japanese tea drinking ceremony?
Japaneseteaceremony.net defines the Matcha tea ritual:
Preparing tea in this ceremony means pouring all one’s attention into the predefined movements. The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. The host of the ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture.
A good way to combat stress is to create your own tea drinking ritual. Your tea drinking ceremony can be every day and can be a great way to connect with the family. Here are a few ideas to try:
• Take time when making and serving your tea.
• Pay attention to the table setting.
• Try personalized placemats with motivational quotes.
• Use pretty teacups.
• Shortbread is a great accompaniment to tea.
To help with your goal of relief for your stressed out teen and the whole family, be selective about the teas you serve. The best choices would be:
– Aids digestion
– Helps with headaches
– Increases mental alertness
– Reduces stress and anxiety
– Lessens the risk of heart disease and cancer
– Good for digestion
– Calming effect on the body
– Helps with sleep
– Helps with brain function
– Wards off cancer
– Helps with weight loss
8. NUTS AND SEEDS
Do you love popcorn when watching a movie? They just go together, don’t they?
But did you know that movie popcorn is bad for you? When you add the flavour of your choice to put your stamp on it, you’re actually loaded it with salt, flavourings, and colourants.
A better alternative to make your own uber healthy trail mix with nuts and seed. You get to have a snack while watching the movie but you know you’re not putting junk into your body. In fact, you’re helping it to function optimally.
Check out this YouTube video on the benefits of nuts and seeds:
If you need more info, read What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Nuts & Seeds?
The best way to have nuts and seeds is raw but you could sprinkle them over your oatmeal or top your leafy green veggies with them.
You could also make your own snack bar. Get the recipe from this YouTube video:
Who does not love avocados?
I must admit that my family has a wicked avo recipe but it’s so unhealthy that we’ve since abandoned it. It called for mashed avos, loads of sugar and condensed milk. So all the nutrients in this wonderful fruit were deadened by the sugar.
So just what are the benefits of eating avocados and how do they help fight stress?
Watch the 8 benefits of avos in this video.
10. MILK AND YOGHURT
Milk is great for stress relief. A glass of warm milk flavoured with cinnamon is really comforting in a glass. The lactium in milk relaxes you by lowering your blood pressure. It also strips the muscles of tension and helps you have a rested sleep.
This quote sums up the best attitude to have towards your health:
To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise, we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower but does not wet its petals.