Carolinas HealthCare System
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Title
The Chemistry of Calmness - Choosing the Right Foods to Combat Stress
Date
06/16/2015
Article

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Doctor Spotlight

Jenna Thomas, MD

Jenna Thomas, MD

Specialty: Family Medicine

Cabarrus Family Medicine-Kannapolis
4949 Professional Park Drive,
Suite 101
Kannapolis, NC 28081

Medical School
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Residency
Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency Program

That bag of barbecue potato chips hidden at the back of your pantry looks especially appealing during times of stress. Resist the urge. Instead, why not enjoy some snacks that are not only tasty, but proven to help alleviate stress?

"There are a number of foods that can combat stress," said Jenna Thomas, MD, of Cabarrus Family Medicine-Kannapolis, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. "The body is a complex mechanism. Knowing a bit about how different foods can change your mood is an empowering thing. It gives you more control over how you feel."

Here's a short list of some smart choices ...

  • Almonds – Although they're high in calories, almonds are packed with B vitamins, which may help you combat stress or depression.
  • Broccoli – Broccoli contains folic acid, which is proven to be a great de-stressor.
  • Go fish! – Meaty fish like salmon, bluefish, sturgeon and mackerel contain Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are not only good for your heart, but some researchers have found cultures that eat foods high in Omega-3s have lower levels of depression.
  • Green Tea – Loaded with thiamine (which acts as fuel for the body), green tea is proven to be effective at helping induce a calm state. Yep. A little warm tea can help you chill.
  • Dark chocolate – Endorphins, which trigger positive feeling in the body are sent racing by dark chocolate. This is also the only item on this list that, by its mere presence, may make you smile.

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