5 Foods for Stress Relief

Stress can take a toll on your body’s natural defenses, but eating the right foods can offer relief.
We all feel wrung out sometimes by the stress of daily life. But high-calorie or sugary foods only trick us into thinking we feel better. Eating healthy is conscious choice.

1.Add in Red Peppers
While oranges get all of the vitamin C hype, red peppers have about twice as much. In a study inPsycho­pharma­cology, people who took high doses of C before engaging in stress-inducing activities had lower blood pressure and recovered faster.

2. Indulge in Dark Chocolate
If you crave chocolate when you’re on edge, have some. Research showed people who ate the average-size candy bar daily for two weeks had lower cortisol and fight-or-flight hormone levels. To reap the feel-better rewards, choose chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cocoa.

3. Serve Salmon Twice a Week
To keep your wits about you when life gets hairy, you need omega-3s. So shoot for about 2 servings a week of wild salmon or other oily fish. And you can get mood boost from the omega-3s in flax, walnuts and soy too.

4. Spinach
This leafy-green veggie is rich in stress-busting magnesium. People with low magnesium levels (most of us, actually) are more stressed and at a greater risk for depression. And since magnesium gets flushed out of the body when you’re stressed, it’s crucial to get enough. Other solid magnesium sources: beans, brown rice.

5. Fill Up on Oatmeal
Oatmeal is warm and comforting—and it also helps your brain generate the destressing neurotransmitter serotonin. Refined carbs (white bread and pasta) digest faster and spike blood sugar, messing with moods and stress. Complex carbs like oatmeal are digested more slowly and don’t spike blood sugar.