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10 Foods that Fight Stress

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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