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By 2ndactt/ Photo by Marta Branco on

There are times you are really down and stressed out, and all you can think of is your comfort food, loaded with cream and sugar. But don’t touch that yet. Try some nuts instead. Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, to be more specific.

Although there is no way that nuts and seeds can replace a well-balanced meal, the nutrients they have may help you fight off stress. 

1. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, which may improve mood and relieve the severity of depression. For adults, the upper limit of selenium intake is 400 mcg. The amount contained per one Brazil nut is 68–91 mcg, according to the National Institutes of Health of the US. 

That means people can easily overdose on selenium if they consume more than four Brazil nuts. As with all minerals and vitamins, the more is not necessarily the better. 

2. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in potassium and zinc, both known to reduce anxiety and stress. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a low-sodium, high-potassium diet can significantly reduce depression and tension while improving vigor. Another research showed that zinc deficiency could have a negative effect on mood.

3. Almonds

Almonds are also full of at least two mood-boosting nutrients: magnesium and B vitamins. Magnesium deficiency is linked with stressful conditions such as headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, and physical stress, among others. B vitamins are vital in combating depression or anxiety. Munching some almonds may help you become more resilient in coping with unpleasant times. 

4. Cashews

Cashews are rich in zinc, a nutrient that is important in keeping depression and anxiety at bay. Hailed as an antidepressant, zinc is mostly found in beef and other dark meat. But if you seek to get it plant-based, cashew nuts are an excellent source. 

5. Walnuts 

Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Research showed that omega-3 fatty acids might help prevent mood and anxiety disorders.    

So put a hand-full of nuts in your pocket before you go out every morning, and you are ready to face the stressful world today. Just remember not to overeat those nuts and seeds as they are fattening, which can lead you to another stressful situation. 

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