This post is part of an ongoing blog series from Trevecca’s SWEET (Student Wellness Education and Engagement at Trevecca) team. Every other Wednesday for the next few months, they’ll be offering up wellness tips to help our students navigate life in a COVID-19 world.During this time of social isolation and uncertainty, many of us have fallen into the habit of unhealthy food choices. Most of us are finding comfort in food. It’s easy to grab a salty, crunchy snack to help fight boredom, and a few cookies or a piece of cake sound good when you’re feeling lonely and isolated. These high caloric, processed foods are fine as a treat for your taste buds once in a while, but not as a steady diet. Processed foods contain simple sugars that cause your blood sugar to rise and fall, which can elevate your anxiety and worsen your mood.
These uncertain times also bring on stress, which can suppress the immune system. Healthy food choices can make all the difference in your mood and feelings of well-being. Certain foods contain nutrients that can actually reduce stress and anxiety by enabling the release of the hormones dopamine and serotonin.
It’s amazing how our Heavenly Father provided foods that would naturally help us deal with times of stress and anxiety. Also, how incredible is it to think that our Creator loved us enough to enable our brains to produce hormones like dopamine and serotonin to help us through these uncertain times? Remember 1 Peter 5:7: “Cast your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Here’s a list of the top 10 foods to start you on your way to elevating your mood and boosting your immune system.
- Poultry, lean meats and eggs (so many yummy ways to make eggs!)
- Mushrooms (add to salads and omelets or sauté with veggies)
- Brightly colored vegetables (Peppers, Broccoli, Spinach)
- Garlic, ginger, turmeric (use as seasonings)
- Salmon (eat two servings a week)
- Berries, nuts & seeds (make some trail mix!)
- Yogurt (add berries, nuts and seeds)
- Dark chocolate (your brain produces dopamine even if you THINK about eating chocolate!)
- Dairy (choose organic or grass-fed to avoid added hormones)
- Banana (A banana a day, keeps the blues away!)
Want to know more? Check out these resources:
At Trevecca, we support students—no matter what you’re walking through—through the work of the Center for Student Development and the Trevecca Counseling Center.