A study done at Nestle Research Center in Switzerland revealed that eating dark chocolate (1.4 ounces) every day for two weeks lowered stress hormones including cortisol. Keep in mind that 1.4 ounces of chocolate is approximately 230 calories so you might be stressed if you’re counting calories!
Fruits and Vegetables
Another good reason to eat your fruits and veggies is from research that has shown that people who ate more fruits and vegetables were happier than those who reported eating desserts, fried foods, and processed meats. The British Journal of Psychiatry suspects it’s the B Vitamin Folate which accounts for this as well as the Omega-3 boost which reportedly helps fight depression.
Iran’s Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences reported that women given saffron capsules (15mg) twice a day reported less intense PMS symptoms including milder mood swings and depression. Researchers believe the spice works similarly to Prozac by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.
Columbia University found that inhaling a pleasant scent like the fragrance of coconut helped slow heart rates in a small pilot study. Certain smells like coconut enhance alertness and soothe our responses to stress.
In a recent study in The Journal of Nutrition, researched found that drinking Oolong, black or green tea elicited a more alert state of mind. Theanine, an amino acid present in tea, is thought to be the culprit. But know that you’ll have to drink 5-6 cups of tea daily to feel these effects.
If you’re feeling low in energy or even a little depressed, here are some foods to consider adding to your weekly menu.