It seems like a lot of people are dealing with stress or anxiety these days, both the physical and the mental. Our bodies are designed for a little “fight or flight”
stressing but not the ongoing 24/7 kind.
Cortisol levels go up, serotonin (the happy hormone) goes down, and that natural adrenaline rush becomes harmful. Adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, stomach problems, etc. The body responds by literally breaking down.
Yes, been there, done that. Don’t want to go back. I’d say we first need to slow down, put less on our plates, and change our perspective on this whole “busybody” thing! And then there’s food.
Can we really use food to increase our mood? I believe so.
"Food is medicine, real food that is."
So what are some foods that increase mood or help ease stress?
1. Foods rich in B6
Avocado, baked potato (with skin), green beans, bananas, gluten-free oatmeal
, and molasses just to name a few. B6 helps produce serotonin (happy hormone), which is depleted when you are stressed. Mmm... did someone say banana? Gluten Free Hot Oats
and banana, yes please!
2. Foods rich in B12
Chicken, sardines, eggs, cheese. B12 along with other B vitamins helps produce GABA
, another calming hormone (neurotransmitter).
3. Foods rich in Folate
Lentils, leafy greens, orange juice. Folate helps produce dopamine. Dopamine influences well-being in the brain’s pleasure center.
4. Foods rich in Magnesium
Sunflower seeds, almonds, wild rice, and spinach, oh yes, spinach. The beloved green smoothie add-in! If you are low in Magnesium, you might often get headaches or feel fatigued. Magnesium can also help regulate blood sugar levels and it helps produce GABA.
5. Omega 3 fatty acids
Think salmon! Omega 3’s can help suppress adrenaline production. If you are constantly in a fight or flight mode, you may need this!
Now this gives us a great reason to throw together I what I like to call a “hodge podge” meal: Avocado, lentils, green beans with roasted sunflower seeds, chicken, and baked potato with onion and chive cream cheese.