Life never stops, so carefree thinking and fighting stress can seem impossible at times. But here is the great news: just taking a quick five-minute snack or tea break can make a huge difference in your body’s stress levels throughout the day! These simple choices are all proven to provide key nutrients that keep your body and mind healthy, calm, and balanced.
- Grab a Piece of Fruit!
Specifically a mango or an orange. Juicy mangos include a compound called linalool that helps lower stress levels. The smell of oranges can also help you relax by increasing the levels of the stress-related hormone norepinephrine.
- Did Someone Say Chocolate?
Great news, dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism. To get the maximum health benefits, make sure you are eating a brand of chocolate that is minimally processed in its pure, dark form without additives (no corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, and artificial colors or flavors). Look for a cacao (or cocoa) content of 70 percent or more (I eat at least a square of 85 to 100% cacao daily), and be sure to watch the portion size. A few brands I love with high cacao content are Equal Exchange, Green & Black’s, and Endangered Species Chocolate.
- Make It Tea Time
Life really gets stressful, instead of completely freaking out or losing your temper, go make or get a cup of chamomile or green tea. Green tea is a source of L-Theanine, a chemical that helps relieve anger and calms you down; simply put, it will get you down off the ledge! Chamomile promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety and stress. Just boil the water, brew the tea according the instructions, pour it out, and take that first soothing sip.
CHECK IT OUT: Easy-Does-It Ginger Cinnamon Chamomile Tea
- Eat a Salad
When you eat a juicy, crunchy salad of dark leafy greens, you’re giving your body a boost of folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. In one study, people who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression than those who ate the least.
Here’s one of my favorite simple salad recipes with an easy, zesty salad dressing.
CHECK IT OUT: The King of Alkalization: Dark, Leafy Greens
- Grab a Handful of Pistachios
Pistachios have the potential to lower vascular constriction during stress. This keeps life-giving blood and oxygen pumping through your body and reduces the load on your heart. Pistachios that have been processed cheaply or fumigated can have high amounts of a cancer-causing mold called aflatoxin. Skip this by only eating organic, high-quality pistachios.
These are just a few of the stress-fighting snacks you can use to support a stress-free body and carefree mind.
CHECK IT OUT: How to Chill Out and Truly Relax