Recently, Dr. Oz twittered, “Sorry, chocolate lovers. Research shows overindulgence may be a sign of depression.” While overindulgence in anything is never a good idea, certain foods, like chocolate, can and do enhance our mood and fight stress. Who wouldn’t want a daily dose? Stressful times call for stress-reducing foods. Here are some favorite mood-boosting, inflammatory-fighting, down-right delicious & nutritious foods:
High-vitamin C foods: Berry time! Make some Blueberry Frozen Yogurt or whip up a smoothie with frozen strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Buy fresh berries and add them to your breakfast – or simply snack on them anytime.
More vitamins & minerals: Vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium all help to reduce stress. Grab a banana for a quick mood and energy-boosting snack. Go for leafy greens whenever possible; make salads of arugula, spinach, romaine and mixed greens a regular part of your life. Another way to add vitamin zest to your diet is by sautéing any variety of turnip, collard greens, kale, spinach, beet greens, swiss chard, or broccoli rabe. Be sure to mix them up with garlic and olive oil for even better health benefits.
Polyunsaturated fats: Go Nuts for stress reduction! Most people have heard that omega-3 fatty acids may ward off depression but they’re proven to help fight inflammation. While eating fatty fish is a great way to fight off depression and diseases of inflammation, the other option is nuts. Sprinkle them on salads or sauteed greens for added anti-stress minerals.
Polyphenols: Why is chocolate so good for us? It is full of potent phytochemicals (plant compounds), which is nature’s way of giving us some “heavenly” antioxidant foods. These protect our bodies from the harmful molecules we are exposed to every day of our lives. In particular, polyphenols are good for heart health. Consuming foods containing polyphenols can help keep you healthy, which makes you happy. So whip up some “Heavenly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread” and enjoy!