Posted at: 04/17/2012 4:55 PM
Don’t Stress, Just Eat...Well, That Is!
Being directed to eat when you are stressed sounds like a not-so-good idea. However, if you are eating the right foods during the day, you can change the way your body reacts to stress. Any food with a potent source of antioxidants has stress- and inflammation-fighting qualities. But do you have a stockpile of these foods in your kitchen? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Wild Blueberries – One of the top sources of antioxidants in the fruit world and one of the only naturally blue foods, these little fruits are packed with nutrients to help your body defend against inflammation. Find frozen wild blueberries in the freezer section and add them to yogurt, oatmeal, muffins, salads and side dishes.
- Asparagus – A standout among the vegetables, asparagus is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, and is high in fiber. It’s also full of antioxidants at only 20 calories per serving (1 cup!). To preserve nutrients, refrigerate and use as soon as possible after purchase. Roasting asparagus brings out delicious flavor and preserves nutrients better than boiling. Add some citrus zest for a flavor boost!
- Bulgur – Made from whole wheat then parboiled and dried, bulgur is an excellent source of fiber (8 g/cup of cooked) and antioxidant polyphenols. Add it to recipes, especia
Super Dried Fruit
- Goji Berries – Also known as a wolf berry, mostly found in dried form. Dried goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants that have been found to offer protection against heart disease and diabetes. You may want to check with your doctor first prior to eating large amounts due a possible interaction with warfarin and other medications.
- Salmon – You can’t beat the omega-3 content found in salmon. Omega-3s are a protective nutrient against inflammation. Consuming at least one 3-ounce portion of fatty fish like salmon has been found to reduce the risk for sudden cardiac arrest by 70%. Try salmon on a berry salad with a light vinaigrette, or wrap it up in a heart-healthy, whole grain wrap with a load of veggies.
- Basil – A common herb used primarily in pasta sauces or pizza, but did you know that basil contains essential oils that function as potent anti-inflammatory agents which could play a role in reducing inflammatory diseases? Maximize the antioxidant benefits by adding larger amounts of fresh basil to your recipes. Grow some on your windowsill today!
Balsamic-Glazed Salmon, Asparagus and Peppers
All you need
12 oz fresh salmon, cut into bite-size pieces
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
8 asparagus stalks, shaved into ribbons
2 tbsp Grand Selections balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Hy-Vee honey
Hy-Vee salt and black pepper, to taste
All you do
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place salmon, bell pepper pieces and asparagus ribbons in a zip-top bag. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir vinegar and honey until combined. Add to salmon and peppers; toss gently to coat.
- Place on a greased baking dish and bake 15 minutes.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 170 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 17 g protein, 6% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 6% iron.