Studies have shown that the right foods can dramatically increase our moods and emotions. So, to commemorate Stress Awareness Month, nutritionist Cassandra Barns has selected her top 5 favourite foods that are scientifically proven to provide a sense of calm when consumed
Chocolate can be used to aid many health concerns. Chocolate contains high levels of magnesium which has been proven to help calm the nervous system. Chocolate is also full of phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural chemical that is associated with positive moods and emotions. For the best stress-busting effects, nutritionists recommend chocolate high in cocoa and low in sugar.
Oats provide a steady release of carbohydrates throughout the day can help maintain an even blood sugar level. Slow-releasing carbohydrates prevent peaks and dips in hunger, further preventing the release of stress hormones that can interrupt our mood and energy.
Spinach has been deemed one of our best natural sources of magnesium and calcium – both of which can help soothe the nervous system in times of strain.
Green tea contains only a small amount of caffeine compared to coffee which can actually trigger a stress response in our bodies with its over-stimulating effect. Green tea also contains lots of L-theanine, a chemical that has been found to relax the mind, reduce anxiety levels and helps those who consume it too concentrate more.
Pumpkin seeds are packed full of both magnesium and zinc and even though zinc doesn’t necessarily correlate with calming the nervous system, diets with low levels of zinc can promote stress-related problems such as anxiety and depression. In addition, pumpkin seeds provide plenty of protein, healthy fats and fiber to keep blood sugar levels balanced.