When you’re feeling stressed, you’ll want to give your body extra whole, natural, beautiful food love … with a special focus on the B Vitamins, Vitamin C, and potassium, and other nutrients that have a calming effect.
For this salad, add the following ingredients in whatever quantities seem right to you – and based on what you have on hand. For best presentation and the joy of eating, make sure that all pieces are smaller than bite-sized in the salad, so you can get a few various veggies in each bite. And experiment with what you have on hand – sweet peppers and avocados make a great additions.
For the oil and orange juice, use about 1-2 Tbsp of each per serving – less is more, and lets the flavors of the vegetables shine through!
Spinach: Vit.C, B Vits, and glycoglycerolipids (anti-inflammatory)
Broccoli: Vit. C, B Vits, Vit. K, and Potassium
Almonds: B Vitamins, Potassium
Black Beans: B Vitamins, fiber, complex carbs and protein
Celery: Potassium, B’s, C, and phthalides – see note below
Strawberries: Vit C., anthocyanins
Red Onions: Vit. C (plus phytochemicals that boost the working of Vitamin C in the body), Flavanoids, Polyphenol, Quercetin (all address oxidative stress in the body)
Orange Juice: Vit. C
Olive Oil: monounsaturated fats
B vitamins protect the nervous system and sooth the body and mind, combating anxiety, irritability, tension and insomnia. They help your body fight chronic stress, as well as supporting your body’s response to immediate, “fight or flight” extreme stress. There are eight vitamins composing the whole vitamin B complex: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. They are best taken together in whole foods.
Vitamin C strengthens our immune system, which our body’s hormones attack when under stress. Researchers at the University of Alabama fed rats 200 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and found that it nearly stopped the secretion of stress hormones. Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables, particularly in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, guavas, oranges, tomatoes and red pepper.
Potassium helps our nervous system deal with chronic stress, and is necessary for proper muscles and heart function. Insomnia, nervousness and depression can be symptoms of potassium deficiency.
Oils support healthy brain function (your brain is 80% fat by dry weight!), and reduce oxidative stress throughout the body, reducing inflammation and irritation. Olive oil is a great source of monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to actually slow brain aging.
Special Celery note:
Celery has a high level of potassium, and the vitamins C, B 1 and E, which are all important nutrients in fighting stress. Celery contains phytochemicals called phthalides, which some studies have shown reduce stress hormones and work to relax the muscle walls in arteries, increasing blood flow. As a result, it has long been used in Chinese medicine to help control high blood pressure.
Posted by Jennifer Silverberg, Eat Yourself Well