As seen on April 17th, 2013 on:
written by The Nutrition Twins,
Whether it’s juggling a demanding job, keeping everything running smoothly at home, or handling other stressors large and small, most of us could benefit from relaxing a little bit. While daily massages may be out of the question, you can soothe your body from the inside out by choosing foods that promote relaxation. Here, four calming foods to try.
The so-called musical fruit is a great source of magnesium, a critical mineral for stress management and relief. When you are low in it, your body activates a stress response. Additionally, magnesium helps relax your muscles–in fact, muscle cramps often occur due to a magnesium deficiency, rather than being short on potassium, as many people believe. Aim for 400 mg of the stuff each day (a cup of black beans will set you up with a whopping 120 mg). Bonus: Black beans contain antioxidants that help to prevent some of the damage that stress causes to the body.
Get more black beans: Add them to chili, salads, burritos, casseroles and soups. Dip your veggies or chips into black bean dip, and enjoy some black beans with rice after a workout to refuel your muscles.
This grain loads you up with nutrient-rich, wholesome carbohydrates. Carbohydrates help your body produce serotonin, a hormone that calms you down and fights the negative effects of anxiety (no wonder we crave carbs when we’re stressed!). They also supply fiber, your body will absorb the carbohydrates slowly, prolonging the serotonin and energy boost, and preventing a stress-inducing blood sugar crash.
Get more oats: Eat oatmeal for breakfast or a snack, mix oats into yogurt, or make muesli.
You’ll probably find that the warm beverage immediately soothes you as it goes down. Tea also floods your system with antioxidants, which mop up damage caused by free radicals. Black, green, and oolong tea contain the amino acid theanine, which stimulates alpha brain waves and summons calm, while also spurring alertness, making it the ideal pre-business meeting drink.
Get more tea: Drink it at every meal. Not a fan of the way tea tastes? Experiment with different flavors, which range from passion fruit and orange blossom to chocolate and white chocolate macadamia nut. Or add fruits, like oranges, lemons, limes, and strawberries, to your mug after steeping your tea.
The omega-3 fatty acids in this fish boost serotonin levels and suppress production of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that contribute to anxiety. Not to mention, research suggests omega-3s fight depression.
Get more salmon: Sprinkle it on salads, eat a salmon sandwich or burger, or simply enjoy a grilled filet. Canned salmon is also delicious. Just look for Alaskan pink or sockeye salmon, which are both wild caught, where “Atlantic-salmon” on the label means it’s farm-raised.
For more nutrition guidance and a ‘get healthy’ plan, please check out the “The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure“
Published on Fitbie on April 17, 2013