Stress is one of the most damaging factors to our health. Stress does not discriminate and it can affect anyone of any age and gender. We all deal with stress at one point in our lives whether it’s mental stress, physical, or emotional. But we don’t have to let stress rule our lives. We alone have the ability to reduce the daily stress in our lives.
As a long time supporter of food as medicine, I can’t stress enough the importance of how food plays a critical role in our lives. Famous Greek physician Hippocrates was quoted:
“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
How true is that statement when even ages ago, food was revered as a main source of medicinal purpose. We are truly what we eat and what we eat should be beneficial to our health and to the health of our planet. If you’re finding it harder to find fresh and healthy food in your area, there are still many ways of getting healthy fruits, vegetables, and grains into your life. You can grow your own food, which, depending on the type, can actually produce a good harvest in a couple of months. Of course growing your food alone won’t sustain you, but keeping a readily available crop year-round is quite beneficial for you and your family.
Below I’ve listed easy to find food as well as food that you can buy online and grow your own. And in the next segment, healthy snacks and treats for kids that are beneficial and easier for them to eat at times of stress.
FOODS THAT FIGHT STRESS:
Vitamin C foods: Oranges, Broccoli, Papaya, Strawberries, Sweet potatoes, Cantaloupes, and Brussels sprouts.
Green Tea is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Due to its catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other health benefits. Plus, green tea is delicious and can be used in cooking as well.
Berries: Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Gogi berries, and Golden berries.
Nuts: Walnuts, Pistachios, Brazil Nuts, and Almonds.
Leafy Greens: Spinach and Kale are top leafy green Powerfoods!
FOODS TO AVOID:
Excess caffeine. Too much caffeine can make us all pretty edgy.
Processed Foods. Processed foods are stripped of important nutrients that our body and mind needs.
Artificial sweeteners. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners affects our neurotransmitters putting our moods and bodies out of sinc.
Excess alcohol. Alcohol stresses our bodies and requires an immense amount of energy for our bodies to metabolize.
High sodium foods. High sodium foods can elevate blood pressure and bloating which just weighs our body down.
Excess refined sugar. Refined sugar greatly affects our blood sugar levels and produce that “high-low” feeling.
HEALTHY TREATS FOR KIDS:
Homemade ice treats. Make some iced treats at home using ingredients that you might already have at hand. Try making ice cream, popsicles, and refreshing smoothies. Use real fruits and vegetables for these ice treats and add in fruit juice and/or dairy (plant-based or animal protein). While most fruits and juices are already pretty sweet, you can also add in a teaspoon of honey (be sure your child is not allergic) to give it an extra boost of nutrition. Try this easy and nutritious fruit smoothie: https://www.marthastewart.com/332804/fruit-smoothie. Ice treats such as popsicles and smoothies give kids the power to choose what kinds of fruit they want in their treats. Help them choose by selecting fruits with lots of vitamins and minerals as listed above.
Granola. Whether granola is homemade or store bought, there are many benefits to this energy boosting snack. Granola is usually made from cooked oats, nuts, and some type of fruit, but if you do make them at home, you can add literally anything to it. Try sweetening it with cocoa nibs or chocolate chips, honey, or maple syrup. Include brain boosting ingredients such as chia seeds or flax seeds. Granola for kids can be easy or complicated. Choose ingredients that you know your kids will enjoy such as dried cherries, nuts, or chocolate chips.
Fruit Kabobs. Just like the traditional kabobs you find at restaurants or on your own grill, fruit kabobs are delightful sticks of freshly cut fruit. You can also dip the fruit in yogurt or chocolate beforehand to give it some uniqueness and extra flavor. Fruit kabobs are pleasing to the eye and palate. Kids usually associate food with their senses so make adorable fruit kabobs for them to hold onto and munch on. Check out this very unique fruit kabob with french toast: https://www.marthastewart.com/343289/french-toast-kebabs.
Popcorn. Popcorn is such an iconic treat for both children and adults. Just be sure to buy or make popcorn from organic and/or non-GMO corn. You can also sprinkle on some turmeric powder, low fat grated cheese, or drizzle with melted honey. Store bought popcorn tends to be full of salt and sugar so be sure to read the ingredients carefully. Plus, popcorn is a filling treat for kids to have afterschool or in between meals.
Dried fruit. If your kids love fruit, then have them try dried fruits. Dried fruits are packed with nutrients due to the method of drying fruit. And they’re easy to cart around when you’re on the go or need something that can be mixed into other recipes. Popular dried fruit for kids include, dried apples, dried pineapples, and dried mangoes.
As long as you remember that food closely associates to our health, then you can always make better choices. Take some time to evaluate what causes you stress or fatigue and check out your own refrigerator and pantry.
Happy Healthy Eating!
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Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.