The expression, “You are what you eat,” could not be more truthful. It’s simple – the things we eat on a daily basis affect how we feel inside out. That’s why when we eat like crap we feel like crap. And when we eat right, everything feels alright. Our lives are full of challenges and stress is unavoidable at times. But there is a way to cope with these difficulties, and that’s taking control of your diet. There are dozens of delicious and nutritious foods that positively help our bodies and minds during periods of stress and negativity. And here they are, what to eat and drink for a better mood:

 Antioxidants
Antioxidants are crucial to boosting the immune system and protecting the body from the damaging effects of long-term stress. They help to lower blood pressure, protect the heart and digestive system and encourage brain functions. Sources of antioxidants include: Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, prunes and blackberries.

 The B Vitamins
During stressful times B vitamins are particularly useful because they support brain function and stimulate the production of serotonin, commonly dubbed, “the happy hormone”. The best way to obtain B Vitamins is through eating apples, bananas, brazil nuts, blueberries, brown rice, mushrooms and eggs.

 Fiber
When experiencing stress, it is particularly important to stay away from junk foods such as burgers and pizza, which give the digestive system a heavy load. Drink plenty of water, and include fiber-rich foods as well foods that support good digestion like salmon, carrots, broccoli, and avocados.

Sugar
One of the keys to dealing with stress is to keep your blood sugar as steady as possible. Eating more frequent, smaller meals will increase your metabolism and prevent you from binge eating or unhealthy eating habits later on. This will also stabilizes energy levels and make it easier for you to control your eating patterns when you need to most. Avoid foods that the body will burn at a slow rate like sugary drinks and unnaturally sweetened snacks. Regulate sugar levels with natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables or better yet, the best of both worlds, a green smoothie.

The moment you start eating stress-reducing foods, you body will know what to do with those foods and you will feel the benefits as your body begins to release stressful toxins. Your energy, mood and concentration will improve and gradually the symptoms of stress will disappear. Of course, healthy foods alone won’t solve everything that may be causing stress in your life – but it will make you feel calmer and give you the right energy you need to deal with everything else. Whenever you’re feeling stressed and you have a choice to either feel better or even worse, think about how you feed your body first.