Whether you’re in a slump or stressed out about work, life, family, etc, try incorporating these 5 foods to decrease stress and increase happiness!
An individual’s stress, happiness, and overall mental health is based on psychological, physical and social well-being. It is very necessary to care for your mental health at all stages of life. Our mindset greatly affects how we feel, the choices we make, and who we hang out with, so it is important that we understand and aim to maintain a positive mindset. Mental health awareness is increasingly growing, with May named as the United States’ National Mental Health Awareness Month.
What you eat greatly influences your mood and your activity level. If you regularly consume a large amount of processed, unhealthy foods you have likely felt sluggish, tired and unmotivated. By changing up your diet to include a wider variety of healthy, nutrient-rich whole foods, you can quicker gain back your energy and you will feel great too.
Continue reading below to find out how these 5 foods can decrease your stress and increase happiness.
5 Foods to Decrease Stress and Increase Happiness
Whether you are fighting stress, anxiety, depression, postpartum depression, bipolar disorder or another mood-related disorder, consuming salmon can lift your spirits. This popular fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which positively interact with mood-related molecules in the brain.
Sitting down for a nice lunch or dinner with a salmon on your plate is sure to make any day feel more at ease and less stressful. Salmon is typically eaten as a sit-down dinner type of food, which can be relaxing at the end of a long day. No matter which ocean it is from, Atlantic or Pacific, salmon can be cooked in a variety of ways and still taste great. You can cook this fish via grilling, pan-searing, roasting, broiling or pan-frying it. Don’t forget about making the flavor too- using lemon, garlic, honey, salt, or butter are just some ways to add to the appeal of salmon.
Not only are they a great snack choice, but almonds can improve your mental health. They are full of Vitamin E, which is known to relieve stress and anxiety. High amounts of Vitamin E are used to regulate calmness. So the next time you feel anxious, eat a handful of almonds.
Feeling stressed because you’re low on time and can’t stop to eat? Grab a pack of almonds and go! There high in protein, so they will keep you fuller for longer, no matter how you eat them. One of the most common ways is in their raw form- salted, unsalted, oven roasted, honey roasted, natural. However, almonds can easily be made into a paste for the perfect bagel topping or blended into a smoothie.
Feeling stressed or depressed? Prepare avocado in your next meal or snack. It is rich in B vitamins that can improve your mental health. These vitamins help produce two important mood-related hormones, dopamine and serotonin. Make sure to consume enough B vitamins in your diet to reap the positive benefits of these two hormones.
Avocado toast seems to be the new trend, but if you’re one of the people not on the bandwagon, there’s a few other great options that are just as delicious. You can slice the avocado and eat it raw, or mash it up for a quick smoothie. Avocados also make great dips, such as guacamole, as well as soups and in salads.
Spinach, along with other dark leafy greens, contain a large amount of Vitamin K. This vitamin helps maintain cognition in the brain. As a result, adequate amounts of Vitamin K can delay diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Spinach isn’t always a fan-favorite when it comes to eating it, so to make it easier for you, here’s a few ways it can be more bearable. Using a stovetop, you can boil, steam or saute the spinach. These methods will prevent the spinach from being slimy. To add flavor, think about throwing in salt, lemon or garlic cloves. Or you can hide the taste by blending it into smoothies like this one!
5 Foods to Decrease Stress and Increase Happiness: 5. Dark Chocolate
This delicious treat can help you fight off depressive episodes. These compounds increase serotonin and dopamine in the brain, making you feel happier. However, to get the full benefits, be sure you are consuming dark chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa.
So, how much dark chocolate should you consume to lower your stress? Anywhere from 0.5 to 2 ounces daily will give you all the health benefits you need. The next time you are finishing dinner, eat a little square of dark chocolate for dessert- it’ll make you happy and healthy! Try this delicious healthy dark chocolate mug cake– I make it every week!
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