5 Feel-Good Foods to De-stress
So many of us operate at break-neck speed; constantly multi-tasking, shallow-breathing and getting by on very little sleep.
This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to our digestive health, hormonal balance and waistlines.
As a health coach I’m often seeing people suffering from ‘stress-bloat’, anxiety-induced insomnia and hormonal issues, like irregular periods, which recent research is now linking to stress.
The good news is there are foods to boost your mood and calm your nervous system when you’re feeling wired, tired and overwhelmed.
Here are my top five suggestions:
Two handfuls is said to be the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac, according to Dave Sommers from Food Matters. So if you’re feeling a bit down, go for these creamy satisfying nuts. Cashews contains the amino acid L-tryptophan which converts to serotonin in the body – a feel good chemical.
Cashews are essential if you love raw desserts. Try this Honestly Healthy raw chocolate cheesecake with cashews and raw cacao (pictured above) for a double hit of happiness.
For thousands of years mushrooms have been used to restore balance thanks to their calming and centering qualities. They are also packed with anti-cancer compounds – studies show shiitake mushroom can help prevent cervical cancer and help liver cancer patients live longer. Mushrooms can also aid weight loss and delay ageing, so eat them as often as you can! Add them to spaghetti, pizza, stir-fries or soup for an easy nutritional upgrade.
If you’re at work you probably won’t have a bag of medicinal mushrooms sitting on your desk. The answer? Four Sigma Foods Medicinal mushroom sachets. The company was founded by Finns who wanted to provide natural – and convenient – ways to thrive. Try ‘Instant Reishi‘ to reduce stress and sleep deeper.
3) Coconut Yoghurt
Probiotics are being hailed as the new Prozac. In 2011, two placebo controlled clinical trials looking at how people performed under pressure, found those taking a blend of two specific probiotic strains said they felt less anxiety when put under stress.
The exciting new field of ‘psycho-biotics’ is revealing that our gut is intricately linked with our mental health, and since 95% of the body’s serotonin is made in the stomach, it makes sense to keep it happy. For a dairy-free dose of calm try coconut yoghurt.
Raw cacao is off the charts when it comes to antioxidants – it’s 95,000 on the ORAC scale! Plus Cacoa is a rich source of magnesium, the key stress busting mineral. Cacao also contains an amino acid called Phenylalanine or PEA. This helps you feel focused and alert and since it’s one of the essential amino acids, the body doesn’t produce it and it must be obtained from food.
Boost mood and brain function with blueberries. These juicy balls of goodness help the body to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with desire and reward. Try this Honestly Healthy Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble (pictured below) for a spoonful of soul food.
Looking for more ways to beat stress and cut sugar cravings?
Join me tonight for a FREE talk at Planet Organic Westbourne Grove.
In this exclusive talk and recipe demo, I will draw on ancient wisdom and modern science to bring you simple strategies for better health. Plus I’ll share with you how to make my ultimate, de-stress smoothie. See you there!
Planet Organic, 7pm, Tuesday 24th February. Click here for more details
By Laura Bond