Drink This, You’ll Feel Better

“The holidays are the most stressful time of the year for many of us, but don’t let stress get you down! This should be a time for us to take a step back, inhale a deep lungful of oxygen, decompress, and enjoy the innate wonder of the winter season. Adding these drinks to your decompressing arsenal is an excellent idea to ward off holiday stress. Warm milk. If you are a dairy-lover, a cup of warm milk may be just what the doctor ordered. Why? Well, tryptophan isn’t just in your Thanksgiving turkey! There is actually tryptophan in milk, which, when paired with the soothing qualities of warm liquids, can work wonders to ease nerves and encourage sleep. Make sure to opt for the grass-fed variety, as this harbors the most nutritional benefits. Tea. Green tea contains a powerful calming agent known as theanine. If you opt for an evening cup, have some decaf so the theanine has its time to shine. Chamomile and black tea also have their calming benefits, that is, if your tea preferences are less verdant. If you can’t do without sweetness, a touch of raw honey can boost energy levels and support the immune system, which gets weakened with chronic stress. Green juice. Although it’s not as warming of a drink as the rest, green juices — aka veggie juice — can help fill your body with essential nutrients that it may be lacking, like vitamin C. Getting enough vitamin C can help to control your body’s response to stress by reducing cortisol levels. It also, as you probably are aware, greatly supports your immune system. One cup of kale provides 100% of your RDA, so blend away and keep the stress at bay! Hot cocoa. Sometimes, when you’re stressed, the comforting embrace of warm chocolate is all that will do. Regular, moderate consumption of dark chocolate has actually been shown to reduce cortisol levels – as if you needed another excuse to indulge. Make your hot cocoa more beneficial by using high quality cacao powder, a teaspoon of raw honey, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and the dairy or non-dairy milk of your choosing. This rich, comforting chocolate drink will help you relax without skyrocketing your blood sugar with excessive sweetness. Water. Seems obvious, but most people don’t realize how powerfully healthful water is — especially if you’re under-hydrated. If you start feeling sluggish and overwhelmed, it might mean you need to guzzle some plain old H2O. Odds are, you’ll feel a heck of a lot better in mere minutes, as water is necessary for myriads of bodily functions. Squeeze in a little lemon for both flavor and a cleansing, reinvigorating effect in the early morning. Of course, drinks and foods aren’t the only ways to reduce stress. Used in conjunction with meditation, exercise, and yoga, they are an excellent way to keep yourself mentally stable during this busy time of year. And if hot toddies are your thing, by all means, enjoy one once in a while and celebrate the season! Just be sure to keep yourself present and balanced, and you’ll cruise through the holidays with a smile on your face!” From “5 Healthy Drinks to Squash Holiday Stress” By Jordyn Cormier

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