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7 foods that elevate your soul (and reduce stress and curb your hunger)

Let's face it, any upset in our lives can cause tension, anxiety, and worry which can drive some of us to eat. Reach for the foods that work with you instead of against you.

Binge on these 7 foods that are proven to increase your joy quotient, reduce the symptoms of anxiety/stress and support your overall well-being.

  • Dark Chocolate

MMMM… Chocolate – lots of relaxing properties and natural mood enhancers like flavonoids, phenethylamine and manganese; the darker the better. Research suggests that dark chocolate may lower levels of stress hormones. Chocolate also contains sugar (a carbohydrate), so it releases mood-improving serotonin.

  • Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a healthy carb and great source of fiber. Carbs help our bodies produce the calming hormone serotonin. Serotonin naturally fights the negative effects of stress.

  • Nuts – Almonds and Walnuts

As little as 1 ½ ounce per day reaps huge health benefits – lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol and contains fiber and boost your immune system with vitamins and zinc.

  • Sunflower Seeds

Contains foliate, which helps your body produce a pleasure-inducing brain chemical called dopamine.

  • Vegetables – Spinach, carrots, asparagus

Studies show that magnesium, which you'll find in leafy greens like spinach, improves your body's response to stress. Asparagus contains natural mood stabilizer like folic acid and B vitamins and carrots contain beta carotene and Vitamin A which support our immune system.

  • Fruit – Blueberries and bananas

Blueberries contain antioxidants which counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol on your body. Bananas contain potassium which is naturally calming.

  • Tea

A soothing cup of your favorite tea can instantly calm your nerves. Herbs like chamomile, lavender and ginger promote better sleep, help with digestion and can reduce stomach pain.

These foods have become staples in our household as we recently embraced a "plant based" lifestyle. Nothing that that has a "momma" goes in our bodies. As a shamanic practitioner, one who meditates regularly, I find that this lifestyle deepens my practice, opening me up to more insight and awareness than I ever imagined. The foods on the list above are ones that I find easy to grab and very satisfying. Hope it helps you on your journey!

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