It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and for some, the most the overwhelming. Clinical Nutritionist, Tara Coleman, shares how to take bite out of holiday stress with some seasonal foods that are packed with specific brain nutrients that help manage stress and boost your mood. 

According to Tara Coleman, these food will help with stress:

Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are high in a micro-nutrient called selenium.  Low levels of selenium have been correlated with anxiety and depression.  Too much selenium can have negative effects as well, so it is one of those nutrients that is best gotten from food.  You can get the RDA of selenium by eating as little as 3 Brazil nuts per day.

Salmon
Salmon and other fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies show that people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood streams are more agreeable and have a better sense of well-being.  They actually change the way your brain functions (in a good way!).  Consistency is key so shoot for fish 2-3 times per week.  If you aren’t a fan of fish, walnuts and flax seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates help increase the brain’s production of the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.  This can help you feel less anxious and have a calmer state of mind.  Choosing carbohydrates that are low glycemic and high fiber also helps keep your blood sugar stable and your mood stable as well (i.e. no hangry!).  They are best post-workout or in the evening when our moods tend to drop.

Banana & Cashews
This combination is often called "natures anti-depressant" because it contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan.  This is why you feel warm and fuzzy after thanksgiving dinner.  Tryptophan breaks down to the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.

Oysters
This one is a little surprising but oysters contain a micro nutrient called zinc. Zinc helps our brains fight off stress and is essential to the part of the brain that regulates mood.

For more information, visit www.taracoleman.com.