Did you know that eating certain foods could help you get through the stress and anxiety of holiday season? Well, it’s true! These are the top 10 foods to make sure you’re getting enough of this holiday season to ensure you make it to the New Year stress free!
- Blood Oranges
Blood Oranges are the perfect pick me up when dealing with drama during the holidays. They have more vitamin C than regular oranges, which is a great defense against stress. Studies even show that people given high doses of vitamin C before stressful situations have lower blood pressure levels and concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a proven anxiety-reliever. In a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, adults with mild to moderate generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile extract for 8 weeks saw greater reductions in anxiety than those who took a placebo. In addition, chamomile also helps you sleep. So make sure that your winding down your nights during this time of year with a warm cup of chamomile tea.
Serotonin is your body’s primary mood-booster. According to Judith Wurtman, PhD, and co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet, serotonin comes from the amino acid tryptophan, which needs carbohydrates to reach the brain. So instead of filling up with the refined carbs in your Christmas cookies, choose a bowl of warm oatmeal instead. Oatmeal has the healthy carbs and fiber to give your serotonin levels a boost.
Luckily this is a food that’s a staple for many people during the holidays! Turkey contains high concentrations of tryptophan, which as mentioned previously, is where serotonin comes from. Remember to pair that turkey with some (healthy) carbs so that the mood booster can reach your brain.
Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and B, which protect your immune system as well as your mood. They also contain a lot of magnesium, which fights free radicals in the body. Not getting enough magnesium can cause drowsiness and can also cause migraines, so a handful of these little nuts is a great snack during the holiday season.
- Grass-fed Beef
Grass-fed beef contains more omega-3s and fewer omega 6s than its grain-fed beef, which helps to bring down inflammation in the body. It’s also a great source of creatine, which can help relieve depression in women. If you’re wanting to eat meat during the holiday season (and really any time of the year!) make sure you choose grass-fed!
The DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are especially effective in battling holiday stress. They support healthy brain function and improve endorphin levels. They also keep cortisol and adrenaline levels regulated.
- Sweet Potatoes
This is a great reason to include some sweet potatoes in your holiday meals – they have more nutrients than other types of potatoes, and they are an excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, which improves mood by preventing the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds that can cause depression. Vitamin B6 and magnesium also are mood boosters in sweet potatoes.
Aside from being the perfect winter comfort food, lentils are full of folate which help make serotonin and dopamine which are major mood boosters. Lentils are also full of fiber which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Zinc deficiency can cause depression and anxiety, which is why it’s so important to know that oysters contain more than seven times the zinc per serving of any other food. If you can’t do shellfish, try beef or poultry.