The best foods for beating stress and recharging your body this Christmas

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
21 December 2012


Stress, lack of sleep and busy lives, particularly in the run up to Christmas, can leave you feeling exhausted and ready for a good rest. Make sure you give your body the best chance to get over the stresses of the year by eating foods packed with repairing, recharging vitamins this winter.

Zinc

A deficiency in Zinc can cause a low libido as well as exacerbating stress. Oysters and liver are great sources but if you’re not a fan of those,  roast beef, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, lamb, peanuts, chick peas, turkey and egg yolks are all packed with the stuff.

B vitamins

This is a complicated group that includes thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, folic acid and vitamin B12.

Lack of any of these vitamins can cause a lack of energy, depression and anxiety. They play an important role in imminutiy and mental health.  Vitamin B5 is especially known as an anti-stress vitamin. It’s found in avocado, mushrooms and sweet potato, among other things.


[Related: The best vitamins to take to beat winter colds]


Good sources of the B vitamins include mast types of seafood (fish, crab, lobster, prawns, mussels), milk, eggs, rice, chicken, beef, potatoes, broccoli, wholemeal grains, brussel sprouts and fortified breakfast cereals.

Magnesium

This is essential for a healthy immune system, and helps build strong bones. You body uses more of it when you’re stressed so if you’ve been under pressure, it’s a good idea to stock up.

Get your RDA by eating plenty of oats, dark chocolate, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, almonds, brazil and cashew nuts


[Related: How to get enough vitamin D this winter]


Iron

Lack of iron can lead to anaemia, which zaps your energy and can make you feel dizzy and tired. If you’re already under pressure or stress, anaemia can make you feel much worse so dose up on iron, found in red meat, egg yolks, spinach, dried fruit, turkey, bean and artichokes.

Vitamin C

Eating foods high in vitamin C alongside those with iron helps your body absorb the iron better. It also helps boost your immune system, which is ideal now flu season has kicked in. Good sources include kiwis, red peppers, oranges, brussel sprouts and strawberries

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