The natural abundance of foods that are good for us is no accident and is nature’s way of providing for us. Here’s a sample of amazingly common foods that nature provides to keep us all happily Zen.
1. Dairy Products
Tryptophan, an essential amino acid commonly found in dairy products as well as many plant and animal proteins, has incredible calming effects. Research found the probiotic in yogurt also produces a calming effect to your nerves. Calcium and magnesium are vital minerals that promote relaxation. So a glass of milk or yogurt is an excellent dose of calm.
Kale is the superstar green known for its superpower antioxidants, including quercetin, known for suppressing the production of allergy-producing histamine. Grapes are also a source. A calm body will give a sound mind.
3. Vitamin C
This super vitamin has been shown in research to reduce blood pressure, cortisol, and psychological stress. Cortisol is a stress hormone which activates your stress response, raising your heart rate and blood pressure, cause for many inflammatory diseases, and suppressing your immune system when you’re anxious or afraid, and leads to long term damage to our health. So eat your fruits and veggies with a smile!
Complex carbohydrates increase the amount of serotonin in your brain. According to Princeton University, serotonin is known as the happiness hormone because it contributes to feelings of well-being. So make sure you get your dose of whole grains or sweet potato when stress and mania hit.
5. Omega 3
These essential fatty acids are widely available in both meat and vegan sources. So no excuses for missing the mark! Omega 3 reduces the body’s cortisol, inflammation and anxiety. Inflammation is the cause in most known diseases. Salmon and sardines are great sources, but raw flax seeds and walnuts are even better!
6. Vitamin B’s
The star of this group of vitamins is B3 or Niacin, some referred to it as the natural tranquilizer. All other B vitamins also play important roles in balancing bodily functions that reduce stress response. The best source really is fish and meats. Pumpkin seeds, peanuts, asparagus and mushrooms are good vegan options. Yeast extract spread is the most excellent source if you can find it.
This has to be the all-star vegan food hands down and is a chameleon in versatility! It is loaded with plant sterols that keep our body’s inflammation under control. It’s also an excellent source of B vitamins and folate, as well as healthy fats that make you feel satiated and calm. We need a mantra for this one: Om Avocado!
8. Brain Food
You know the old Chinese saying, a shape for a shape. Eat a food that has the same shape as the body part that needs it. Voila! It’s the common walnut and walnut oil. It is fully loaded with a balanced ratio of Omega 3 (see #5 on our list) and Omega 6, plant sterols and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and physical stress, improving memory and cognitive functions. Aha! The Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that walnuts and walnut oil lowered blood pressure and stress responses.