Research Shows That These Foods Can Reduce Stress

With the school year just starting up, many of us are unaccustomed to the workload we left behind during the summer months. Unfortunately, the carefree nature of summer can only last so long, and so does the food that we were used to being able to enjoy at home. A new year often requires us to adjust to a new diet in addition to a new schedule and the demands that come along with a fresh semester of classes. These four foods have been shown to have health benefits linked with lowered levels of stress, so including them in your college diet whenever possible should boost your mental and physical health, giving you the strength to start off the year strong!

1. Oatmeal 

Beginning your day with a bowl of oatmeal can raise the levels of the hormone serotonin in your system, which acts as a mood-booster. Bonus points for flavoring your oats with cinnamon, which is able to quell frustration, or making it with milk, which contains calcium, vitamins B and D and protein which can aid in relaxing your muscles.

2. Almonds

Snacking on almonds in between classes or spreading some almond butter on whole-wheat crackers can strengthen your immune system (which weakens as we sustain more stress) with zinc and various vitamins.

3. Avocado

Slipping a slice of avocado on your sandwich or dipping a few tortilla chips into some guacamole can add monounsaturated fats into your diet, which also lowers your likelihood of suffering from heart disease or stroke.

4. Chocolate

The sugar in dark chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin when it is broken down during digestion, so enjoying a small amount every so often can be a smart choice for not only your taste buds, but your body as a whole!

These four foods are typically not too difficult to come by and can be enjoyed on their own (or easily incorporated into your meals and snacks as they are) to naturally lower your stress levels and add a little bit of great taste (and a lot of happiness) to your college diet!