I'm not stressed out or anything, but maybe you are. Most of the world seems to be running a high intake of stress these days. The other day, we were walking across the street and the woman in the car was slowly rolling toward us, and the look on her face for just having to wait for us to reach the sidewalk was haunting.
Americans are faced with stressful schedule daily. And all of that stress adds up. It really adds up. Which got me to thinking about foods that could help taper stress levels. After all, we know that Americans are not eating properly, and that can further contribute to stress levels. Here are the five foods that I researched that have stress soothing benefits.
I eat oatmeal every single day. Usually for breakfast. Lately, I am really in love with eating cold oatmeal, but nothing beats a hot bowl of oatmeal on a cold day. Some of my favorite oatmeal combinations are Almond Joy Oatmeal, Brownie Batter Oatmeal, Blueberry Banana Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Yogurt and Pumpkin Seed Oatmeal, and Blackberry Cinnamon Oatmeal.
Oatmeal is loaded with fiber, B vitamins, and protein. Not to mention it digests slowly, leaving you full for hours. And if you throw in some vanilla soy protein powder, you may not eat until dinner.
Peanut butter is the best invention on the planet. I love peanuts, but something transformative happens to the peanut when it is crished to smithereens and whipped into peanut butter. Magic. Seriour magic. And I love to eat peanuts, peanut butter, crushed peanuts...mmmm.
And peanuts, despite what the Paleo folks would have you believe, are really good for you. A quarter-cup of peanuts gives you nearly half of your daily copper needs anda third of your manganese! Hello, that's amazing, isn't it? Peanuts are also loaded with the anti-aging antioxidant, resvertrol. Oh, and guess what? They are loaded with MUFAs (monounsaturated faty acids), which may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease...sounds pretty amazing to me.
It' s too bad people are allergic to peanuts or that the Paleo community says that they are bad for you because of "antinutrients"...if you aren't allergic to peanuts, then eat up because these bad boys deliver a good amount of protein and fat that will keep you energized for hours. I like to make a peanut butter banana smoothies on days that I know I won't have time to eat for awhile.
Beets are the cornerstone of my fall and winter pantry. I begin pulling beets from the garden mid-September and don't stop until February. Beets are delicious. They are bright and delectable--perfect for a salad or roasted. I like to grate beets with apples and celery, and then toss them in apple cider vinger for a bright slaw-like alternative to traditional cole slaw.
What makes beets so powerful and energizing? Beets aid in detoxification of the body and they give you a whopping dose of folate. Folate will boost your energy levels fo sure.
Spinach happens every single day in our house. We use it in smoothies, soups, casseroles, and even dessert. Spinach is packed with nine times the amount of vitamin K need per day in just one cup! Yep. That makes spinach better than kale or lettuce any day of the week. Oh and vitamin K is really cool-- it's been shown to increase the movement of electrons to improve energy levels and to increase insulin resistance.
Consider trying spinach on pizza, in a dip, or a smoothie.