With school ramping up, try some snacks that will give you a boost
Midterms are coming up, you lost your bus pass, work is overwhelming, or maybe traffic is making you late. Whatever it is, life is bound to stress you out at some point. Here are five foods to help improve your mood and hopefully reduce some of your stress.
According to a review from 2017 ,cocoa powder, an ingredient in chocolate, releases endorphins in a small section at the base of the brain called the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus controls emotions, the release of hormones and appetite. Endorphins are hormones that relieve pain and stress and trigger the same receptors and feelings as the opioid drug. Dark chocolate is usually recommended as the healthiest choice because it has the highest concentration of cocoa powder.
Strawberries are known to normalize blood pressure levels. This helps prevent a change in high and low energy throughout the day. Keeping your energy levels steady helps discourage mood swings. Strawberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C. A study done in 2015 showed that vitamin C can help reduce anxiety. Enjoy them on their own, blend them into a smoothie or pair them with some dark chocolate for a perfect stress relieving snack.
Much like strawberries, spinach regulates blood sugar levels. It is also jam-packed with iron which helps produce serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that regulates mood and is sometimes referred to as the ‘happy chemical’. Add some of these leafy greens to your pasta, blend them into your smoothies or use it in your salads. You could also add it to the next item on our list for a yummy omelette.
Fried, scrambled, boiled or poached, eggs are a great source of protein. They contain Tyrosine, a key component in the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in motivation, drive, and the brain’s ability to recognize rewards.
5) Sweet potatoes:
The carbohydrates in sweet potatoes help produce serotonin in the brain. Sweet potatoes are very high in the antioxidant beta-carotene which can help with reducing free radical damage to brain cells. Sweet potatoes are great mashed or as an alternative to regular french fries. Enjoy them as a delicious side dish or as your dinner.