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Six Healthy Foods to Help Fight Stress

Though many people don’t realize it, stress symptoms have a negative impact on your health. In the short-term, stress can cause fatigue, gastrointestinal discomfort and headaches, among other ailments. Over the long-term, stress can make you susceptible to more severe conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and even some cancers.

While stress management is a powerful thing, not everyone has time to devote to techniques that have been proven to help, like yoga and meditation. Luckily, you can manage some of your stress with what you eat. When people think of eating to combat stress, they often think of comfort foods that are not typically very nutritious: ice cream, macaroni and cheese and calorie-laden mashed potatoes.

Luckily, there are a variety of healthy foods – even super foods – that can help your body manage your stress levels and help you prevent feeling the stress – physically and mentally.

Oranges: Sweet and juicy, these orange orbs are best known for providing plenty of vitamin C.  Fruits are known for their wealth of vitamin C, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that vitamin C has been said to help return your blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. Vitamin C can also help boost your immune system and prevent diseases or ailments. To eat more oranges, try this Orange Balsamic Chicken recipe.

Whole Grains: There are two types of carbohydrates: simple carbs, which our bodies often crave when we’re seeking comfort, like white breads, pastas and sugar and complex carbs, which are the good-for-you kind that help your brain produce more serotonin, a natural mood elevator. Choose whole grain breads, cereals and pastas to reap this benefit, or try this delicious Whole Grain Pancake recipe.

Avocados: Though high in monounsaturated fat, avocados are full of healthy goodness. They include potassium, which helps reduces high blood pressure. In fact, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that one of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to consume enough potassium- and avocados have more potassium than bananas. Load up with this Toasted Quinoa, Chicken,Corn and Avocado Salad recipe.

Broccoli: Along with kale, Swiss chard and other dark green vegetables, the tree-like veggie is a super food chock full of vitamins and minerals to help replenish our bodies during stressful times. Plus, who doesn’t feel more virtuous after eating a big bowl of broccoli? Learn to love it with this Fresh Broccoli Salad.

Salmon: While high in fat like avocado, salmon is another food that can help keep your adrenaline levels in check. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can prevent stress hormones from rising and reduce the risk of heart disease. Try your salmon a different way with these Salmon Patties.

Almonds: Packed with vitamins B and E, these help boost the immune system and can make the human body more resilient to illness during bouts of stress. Almonds are high in calories, so if you’re watching your weight, keep your snack to a quarter cup each day. Instead of eating by the handful, work them into your dishes, like with this unique Rice Salad with Almonds and Raisins recipe.

April 28th, 2011

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