Eating when you’re feeling down isn’t usually the best idea. We all know it. But do it anyway.
Then, sure enough, that box of chocolate-glazed donuts that promised to quickly lift you right back up to happy land leaves you feeling even worse afterward, once the sugar-high dissipates.
On the other hand, certain super foods actually do have genuine healing powers that can really help to see you through when fighting stress, anxiety, sadness and general days of blah. When incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, these foods can help to pick you back up naturally while giving you more strength, energy and inner-balance to muscle through those dark days, and to find the cheer beyond them.
1. Wild Salmon
A simple flaky slice of salmon isn’t just a worry-free meal. It’s also a meal that could free you from your worries. Research at Ohio State University found that the omega-3s from salmon and other fatty fishes helps to reduce stress and anxiety by more than 20 percent in study participants. Other research has shown that low levels of vitamin D are correlated with feelings of depression, and salmon and other fatty fish are some of the highest natural food sources of vitamin D. Try this delicious Coconut Curried Salmon On Asian Greens.
2. Coconut Butter
Coconut butter contains more fiber than coconut oil, and is great at leveling out your blood sugar, your hormones and your mood. It also contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids that act like rocket fuel for the brain, and have been linked to weight loss.
Stir in a small scoop of coconut butter with a hot bowl of oatmeal, use in coffee instead of creamer, or try these delicious No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars .
3. Dark Leafy Greens
Rich in B vitamins like folate, dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards and bok choy help the body produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. They’re also high in the mineral magnesium, which promotes relaxation and calm, and also plays a role in serotonin production.
Swap out lettuce for darker leafy greens in your salads, and try these other creative and delicious ways to get more greens into your daily menu.
Pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and other fermented foods support healthy gut bacteria. Studies have shown that when the flora in our bodies is unbalanced, it has a direct effect on our brain chemistry and can lead to anxiety and depression.
This suggests that adding fermented foods to your daily diet could help to keep you more calm and emotionally balanced during stressful times. It can also help you lose weight. Check out this post on how bacteria in our guts effects weight loss.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate powder that is 70 percent cocoa solids and higher can help keep bad moods in check by lowering stress hormone levels while boosting brain power and cognition.
These Ancho Chocolate Truffle Balls do the job of putting a smile back on your face quite nicely.