Being a busy divorce lawyer, running my own legal practice and being a mum has me running around a fair bit and sometimes eating healthy food can be challenging at times.
Good Magazine invited me to create a bunch of recipes to help reduce stress, which was the perfect project for me. The recipes needed to be full of ingredients that are stress relieving and easy, so what are those ingredients?
I did loads of research and found a some amazing ingredients that I love and have great stress reducing benefits.
Here they are:
Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark leafy greens are rich in folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Eating fruits and vegetables help to calm nerves.
Organic Turkey Breast
Turkey is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin. Research shows that argumentative people who consumed tryptophan become markedly more pleasant, with researchers noting: Tryptophan significantly decreased quarrelsome behaviors and increased agreeable behaviors and perceptions of agreeableness.
Fermented Food – (Yogurt, Kombucha, Kimchi, Pickles, etc.)
Beneficial bacteria have a direct effect on brain chemistry, transmitting mood- and behavior-regulating signals to your brain via your vagus nerve.
Salmon is full of animal-based omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, which play a role in your emotional well-being.
Anthocyanins are the pigments that give blueberries their deep colour. These antioxidants aid your brain in the production of dopamine, a chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function and your mood.
Eating nuts each day lowered vascular constriction during stress, which means the load on your heart is reduced since your arteries are more dilated.
There’s a chemical reason behind it called anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression. It’s a derivative of the Sanskrit word “bliss,” and one of the great things about chocolate is that it not only produces this compound, it also contains other chemicals that prolong the “feel-good” aspects of anandamide.
A great source of complete protein, eggs also contain lecithin and choline needed for proper methylation and nervous system function, as well as neurotransmitter production. Healthy levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s.
Chia seeds are an excellent de-stresser. They are loaded with tryptophan and magnesium. Magnesium, which acts as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin, is well-known for its role in helping to regulate your emotions and enhance well-being. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps the body make proteins and certain brain-signaling chemicals. Your body changes tryptophan into a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps control your mood and sleep.
Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folate. Avocados are helpful for regulating blood sugar levels, which can help keep your mood steady, even in times of stress.
Oranges contain loads of Magnesium, which is known to promote relaxation and natural sleep. In addition to Magnesium, Vitamin C helps clear out cortisol from the blood stream and thereby promotes a relaxed state of mind. Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in response to stress. Too much cortisol in the blood stream can cause anxiety, restlessness and stress. Oranges are also rich in many B Vitamins that can aid in reduction of stress.
Sweet potatoes are packed with beta-carotene and other vitamins in addition to fibre, which helps you feel full longer. Eating sweet potatoes help to satisfy your urge to eat carbohydrates and sugary snacks and deliver loads of nutrients that your body can process slowly and steadily.
Seaweed serves as a great source for magnesium and tryptophan. Magnesium is a mineral that helps relax your muscles, while tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter made in your brain that elevates your mood.
Turmeric is a super food that has loads of amazing goodness including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds have properties that can counteract or prevent some of the underlying chemical imbalances in mood disorders.
Its a fruit isn’t it?! Best stress relief food ever! Hehe!