Ever feel overwhelmed and stressed out? Whether you are preparing for class finals, a big presentation, or a work meeting, help conquer stress by choosing foods that boost brain power and reduce stress. In addition to getting plenty of sleep and studying hard, eating a well-balanced diet is just as important to ward off stress and keep your brain sharp.
Consider these food tips to give your brain a boost and relieve some stress:
- Whole grains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, oats, and corn provide a great source of carbohydrates, and glucose, the preferred fuel for your brain. Whole grains are also low in fat, high in fiber, and provide a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.
- Fish is a great source of protein and provides omega-3 fatty acids linked to promoting memory and reducing stress. Omega-3s can also be found in walnuts, flaxseeds, and canola oil.
- Citrus foods have been found to boost mood. Choose grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes for anti-inflammatory and mood-boosting phytochemicals.
- Avocados are a good source of stress-relieving B-vitamins and potassium, which contribute to lowering blood pressure levels.
- Berries are a powerhouse of nutrients packed into a small bite. Berries contain an abundance of phytochemicals including antioxidants, which help to protect the brain and promote mental acuity.
- Dark chocolate provides antioxidants, flavonoids, and stimulants to help improve your mood and lower stress. The small amount of caffeine in cacao can also help to boost energy levels. However, make sure you stick to about an ounce a day. The darker the chocolate the better!
- Fluids are essential for preventing dehydration, one of the main causes of fatigue. Avoid sugary and high-calorie drinks like sports drinks and soda that only provide empty calories. The sugar in these drinks may give you an initial burst of energy, but when the sugar is quickly used up, your insulin levels will drop and likely cause fatigue. Try some alternative beverages such as tea or fruit infused water.
Did You Know?
Stress is one of the main contributors to sleep disorders, and contributes to chest pain, high cholesterol, cardiac problems, and depression. Nourish your body and prevent stress by eating a well-balanced diet!