At times when we feel anxious, stressed or a bit low and tired, we tend to eat food high in fats, sugars and calories. We are likely to do this to stock up on fast acting energy which our body feels it needs. This usually helps for a short length of time before our body asks for more energy to help us feel better. Breaking this cycle isn’t always easy as fast foods, sweets and savoury snacks are readily available pretty much everywhere. Food can, however, help us feel better in the long term if we know which foods can help our body as well as our mind.
Wholegrains can help you stay focused and concentrate on tasks. Contrary to foods high in sugar, fats and calories which offer a short term boost to your body, wholegrains release energy slower and more balanced. Because of this, your body and mind will be able to use this energy for longer, keeping your mind alert throughout the day.
Blueberries are said to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases and short term memory loss. You can read more about the health benefits here.
Fatty oils such as omega-3 fats are essential for healthy brain functioning, joints, the heart and our general wellbeing. It is believed that omega-3 fats can help us de-stress and to produce the natural “feel-good” hormone, serotonin. These fats can be found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and trout. Plant based sources include walnuts, soya beans, chia seeds, linseed and pumpkin seeds.
Nuts are a great source of Vitamin E which is said to prevent cognitive decline and decrease chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Other foods high in Vitamin E are leafy green vegetables, olives, asparagus, seeds, wholegrains and eggs.
Eggs are one of the best sources of Vitamin B12. B-Vitamins and folic acid are known to reduce levels of substances in our brains which can lead to stroke and brain disease. Other Vitamin B rich foods include soy products, fish, chicken and dairy.
Blackcurrants are one of the best sources of Vitamin C which has been linked to a variety of health benefits. Vitamin C is said to decrease the likelihood of developing brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Furthermore, Vitamin C has been linked to the management of stress and anxiety. Other good sources of Vitamin C are red peppers, oranges, lemons, broccoli, kiwis and strawberries.
The above list is, of course, only a selection of a few of the food which can help us feed our body and mind. A healthy and balanced diet as well as regular exercise is important to maintain overall wellbeing. What alternatives to foods high in fats, sugar and calories make you feel better when you are feeling a bit stressed, anxious or tired? Feel free to share these with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using #fit150.