Rethink Your Comfort Foods!
Summer has sadly coming to an end, and for those like myself that are students it means going back to school and studying our butts off for exams. It’s time to embrace the stunning changes that come along with autumn. Soon we’ll see leaves evolve into magnificent colors, feel the wind get chillier, and enjoy Halloween decorations left and right!
Although we have to say goodbye to summer, we get to welcome and appreciate the beautiful changes that come along with autumn. As we all know, change can be a very scary thing. We can either embrace the change and grow from it, or run and hide…I prefer the former! This blog post will focus on how we can use healthy foods to comfort any nervous feelings that result from the idea of change. These changes can include going to a new school, starting a new job, advancing in your career, starting a new family or adventuring into new relationships.
We all have our comfort foods that we gravitate towards when we feel stressed or any other negative emotion. I’m going to share some healthier options we can try…that are scientifically proven to reduce stress and soothe the soul!
Rich in glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage, avocados also contain lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin E, and more folate than any other fruit. A single serving (about one-quarter of an avocado) has plenty of B vitamins, too.
Blueberries have some of the highest levels of an antioxidant known as anthocyanin. All berries, including strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are rich in vitamin C, which has been shown to be helpful in combating stress. German researchers tested this by asking 120 people to give a speech and then do hard math problems. Those who had been given vitamin C had lower blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol after the stressfest.
Cashews are an especially good source of zinc—a 1-ounce serving has 11 percent of your RDA. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it's important to get some every day.
A study from the University of Pennsylvania tested chamomile supplements on 57 participants with generalized anxiety disorder for 8 weeks, and found it led to a significant drop in anxiety symptoms.
Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. It contains more polyphenols and flavonols—two important types of antioxidants—than some fruit juices.
Being a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a soothing feeling that helps overcome stress. Studies have shown that kids who eat oatmeal for breakfast stay sharper throughout the morning.