1. Oatmeal– The carbohydrates in this tasty breakfast option facilitate the production of serotonin- an important neurotransmitter that contributes to mood. Unlike other forms of carbohydrates that we crave when we are stressed (I know I find myself reaching for the bag of Lay’s chips), oatmeal is filled with fiber, so it is absorbed by the body slowly for a lasting effect.
2. Milk– Whey, which is the protein in milk, can reduce anxiety and frustration. Make some hot chocolate the night before a test to help ease your nerves, or dip some graham crackers in milk for a healthy late-night study snack.
3. Dark Chocolate– Filled with flavonoids, dark chocolate is a great treat to fight stress. It also contains phenethylamine, a chemical that boosts your mood. Plus, who doesn’t want an excuse to indulge in chocolate?
4. Salmon– The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon will help boost serotonin levels. This fish is also a very healthy option!
5. Walnuts– Walnuts are extremely healthy and are filled with protein to provide an extra energy boost. Top a salad with walnuts at lunch or grab a handful on the way to class to benefit from their stress-fighting nutrients.
6. Spinach– These nutritious greens contain magnesium, which enhances your body’s ability to respond to stress.
7. Blueberries– Blueberries have antioxidants that fight cortisol and other stress-related hormones. Get your daily dose of blueberries in a variety of ways- eat them plain, with yogurt, or with cottage cheese!
8. Avocado– This high-fat (the good kind) and high-potassium food can help lower blood pressure, ultimately reducing stress. You just found another reason to head to Chipotle for a study break!
9. Asparagus– This delicious veggie contains folic acid, which stabilizes mood. Try sautéing with garlic, sprinkling with cheese, or squeezing on some fresh lemon juice to add a kick!
10. Green tea– The amino acid found in green tea called theanine has been shown to reduce stress. This is also a great way to warm up in the cold months that are quickly approaching!
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