Stress-Relieving Food and Drinks

Matakas.CalmFoodDrink3As the workload piles higher, so does our stress. The key is managing the stress so that we can study for the three upcoming exams during the day, but be relaxed enough to go out with friends at night. Certain foods and drinks naturally help to ease your anxiety while others make it worse.

Foods high in antioxidants help to elevate mood levels which pushes stress to the back burner. Antioxidants are found in many healthy foods like berries or beans. Try adding a serving of blueberries and strawberries to your breakfast to start your morning off with a kick.

When you’re trying to fall asleep at night and all you can do is think of pending due dates, try drinking a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile has been used for thousands of years as a soothing medication. It grows as a flower and is abundant all over the world; but in tea form it calms the nerves and will help you fall asleep naturally. 

Dark chocolate and red wine are two of my favorite de-stressing foods. Unfortunately, these two delicious items must be consumed in moderation to provide calming effects. Too much alcohol will keep you awake and overdosing on chocolate will make you wired.  But a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a few pieces of dark chocolate are perfectly OK.

Drinks with too much caffeine or sugar can have negative effects on stress levels. I am guilty of binging on Starbucks to get me through an intense day of work. However, coffee can sometimes work against you because of the heavy caffeine intake. Your heart and mind can to race causing you to become more tightly wound. Other drinks contributing to stress are Mountain Dew or Redbull.

Junk foods high in unhealthy fats and sugars cause sluggishness and low productivity. They may provide you with momentary satisfaction but in the long- run will hinder performance. Build up some willpower to say no to the Big Mac and swap it for a nutritious sandwich that will keep you going for longer.

Photo by Lauren Matakas


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