Stress, tension, and anxiety may not only increase urges to smoke. Over time, these not-so-great feelings can also boost our risk of heart disease and depress our immune system. But did you know you might be able to help ease how much stress your body is under by adding some new foods to your diet?
Don’t let stress hinder the health benefits you could gain by quitting smoking! Help take a load off by looking for these yummy items next time you head to the grocery store.
Several studies have linked greater consumption of fish to improved mood and lower inflammation—a key culprit of bodily stress that’s also associated with anxiety.
Not a seafood fan?
No problem! The omega-3 fatty acids in fish that research suggests does our body and brain so much good can also be found in other edible items, like walnuts, buttercrunch and red leaf lettuce, as well as mustard greens and avocados.
Kale, swiss chard, and spinach are great sources of magnesium—a mineral found to help lower anxiety in some people. Sautée or stir-fry these veggies with some canola, olive, peanut, or (best of all) flaxseed oil, plus your choice of seasoning, and voilà!
In addition to giving you some added energy, tea has been shown to produce feelings of calm. Brew yourself a cup at home, during the workday, or order one next time you find yourself at a coffee shop.
Meat & Poultry
Turkey, chicken, and lamb contain high levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that studies have linked to decreased anxiety and improved mood. Opt for lean versions of each when you can, consume them in moderation, and balance them out with some heart-healthy veggies. For extra yum, grill 'em with lemon pepper or another herb rub.