Christmas is upon us and so often you read about what not to eat or how to moderate your eating, or how to beat the weight gain post Christmas (yes we will likely cover those things too). What you don’t see as much of is what you SHOULD be eating to help survive the festive season.
From mid November to early January is one of the most stressful times of year. Social occasions, most weekends, school and work wrapping up for the year and let alone the big event on Christmas day, it is easy to lack sleep, be time poor, and feel the financially strained. So what foods should be eating to help reduce your stress, improve your mood and enhance sleep.
Magnesium rich foods reduce tension headaches and beat fatigue. They also promote feelings of calmness and improve sleep. They do all this by relaxing your muscles. Magnesium is found in nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds, wholegrain cereals high in bran, spinach, salmon, soy products and legumes
Omega 3 fats are your brain food! Aiding your mood, many studies have shown people who eat more omega 3 have lower incidences of depression. They reduce inflammation in the body and are important for heart health. Omega rich foods include oily fish such as salmon and tuna, walnuts, chia seeds and linseeds.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant and a godsend for your immune system at this time of year. No one wants to feel tired or run down, and you have no time to be sick! Studies have also shown vitamin C is helpful for reducing stress. Eat more berries, broccoli, capsicum, citrus fruits and kiwifruit.
B Vitamins are important for energy and nutrient utilization. Getting enough can help prevent fatigue and keep you going for longer at full speed during these busy days! Wholegrain breads and cereal, green vegetables, milk, sweet potato and eggs are rich in Vitamin B.
Don’t forget lean protein and carbohydrate rich foods (not straight sugar, the foods ones like grainy cereals and fruits). These foods help lift your brain’s levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for helping you sleep better and feel calmer, bothare definitely needed at this time of year!.