8 Costco Foods That Help You Destress, Say Nutritionists
Anything from global events to work, financial situations, family life, relationships, and physical health concerns can increase the stress in your life. And chances are that you’re not just dealing with one of these concerns. According to a 2019 Gallop Global Emotions Poll, Americans are experiencing the highest stress levels that they have in over a decade. None of us like to worry, but when it comes to your health and quality of life, managing your stress levels should be a top priority.
Chronic stress can wreak serious havoc on your health by increasing your risk of anxiety, depression, digestive problems, and heart conditions. It interferes with your relationships, your work, and even makes it near impossible to fall asleep. While there are plenty of strategies to reduce your stress levels, including exercise, sleep hygiene, and connecting with loved ones, you can also give yourself a calming mood boost by paying attention to what you eat.
Many foods have nutrients, antioxidants, and other plant compounds that help to fight the effects of stress in your body and even help you to relax, and those foods are easy to find at your favorite bulk warehouse—Costco! So next time you head to your favorite big box store, stock up on these Costco foods to destress and enjoy relaxing meals and snacks all week long!
1. Zespri SunGold Kiwi
Eating your fruits and vegetables can help decrease stress levels, but one that stands out as a stress-fighting superstar is Zespri SunGold Kiwi, the ones with smooth hairless skin and yellow flesh. “Zespri SunGold Kiwis help you make the most of your day, as they provide the complete package of feel-good nutrition, with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, including 100% of your daily vitamin C needs, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin E and antioxidants,” says Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, Zespri partner, and author of Fueling Male Fertility.
“A September 2020 study published in Nutrients found that after 4 weeks, eating two Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit per day may benefit overall vitality, making you feel less fatigued, improving both mood and energy levels,” adds Manaker.
Buy now: Gold Kiwi, 3 lbs.
2. Organic Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are one of the easiest Costco foods to destress as they’re a quick and simple addition to any meal or snack. They add a fun crunch or act as a thickener when added to liquid like oatmeal or smoothies. These little seeds are loaded with stress-fighting nutrients like magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids. Just one ounce of chia seeds has 23% of the daily value (DV) of magnesium and 5,000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.
“Magnesium can help regulate anxiety, while omega-3s combat stress-related inflammation and cellular damage. Incorporating chia seeds into your diet can effortlessly boost your intake of these vital nutrients,” says Dr. Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND. She recommends adding chia seeds to non-dairy blueberry smoothies for an added boost and to maximize their benefits.
Buy now: Organic Chia Seeds
You might only think of healthy fats and guacamole when avocados come to mind, but they’re also full of stress-fighting nutrients.
“A Costco must for me is the big bag of avocados. Avocado contains stress-relieving B vitamins and the compound beta sito-sterol, which reduces anxiety and alleviates stress. Adding a source of healthy fat makes a balanced, nourishing, and satisfying meal, boosting those serotonin levels,” says Erica Baty, RDN, CDE.
Don’t let the short shelf life of avocados add more stress to your life. Baty recommends grabbing a bag of rock-hard and green avocados, then keeping one on the counter at a time to ripen while storing the others in the refrigerator. This way, you’ll always have a ripe avocado ready to go!
Buy now: Avocados – 6 count
4. Bottled Water
Sometimes the best stress-fighting foods come from their convenience and practicality, not necessarily the nutrients they offer. As an unexpected Costco food to destress, water is essential to survival, and having some on hand in emergencies can help you feel more prepared during an already stressful time.
“Costco has the best price in my area on packs of forty 16.9 oz water bottles ($3.99 near me). We lose our well water when we lose power, and it has been a major stress reliever for me to have a 2-week supply of water on hand in case of power outages,” says Summer Yule, MS, RDN. “The Centers for Disease Control recommends storing 1 gallon per person per day for at least 3 days, or 2 weeks if possible. If your water source depends on electricity, I highly recommend picking up some water (and don’t forget extra for pets),” Yule adds.
5. Kirkland Signature Frozen Triple Berry Blend
This blend of three berries – blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries – has 15% of your DV of vitamin C and is a delicious and budget-friendly way to have fresh berries on hand all year round.
“I’m a big fan of Kirkland Signatures Frozen Mixed Berry blend for all the antioxidants in the berries to help fight inflammation and free radicals in the body. They are high in vitamin C and polyphenols, says Nicole Ibarra, RD. These berries make it easy to have a nutritious meal or snack even when you’re busy. Ibarra recommends adding them to smoothies or overnight oats for a quick, out-the-door breakfast.
6. Kirkland Signature Walnuts
“Kirkland Signature Walnuts are a nutrient-dense food that provides healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which play a crucial role in supporting overall well-being and contribute to stress reduction,” says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT of One Pot Wellness.
“Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which have been associated with improved mental health and reduced symptoms of stress and depression, Chun adds, “and omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate neurotransmitters and reduce inflammation in the brain, positively impacting mood and stress levels.”
Walnuts are perfect for sprinkling on oatmeal, adding to baked goods, using in breading for fish or chicken, or even snacking on as part of a homemade trail mix!
Buy now: Kirkland Signature Walnuts
7. Kirkland’s Signature Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon
Eating Kirkland’s Signature Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon can help you meet the recommended 2 to 3 servings of fish per week to meet omega-3 fatty acids needs. Plus, you can confidently include this in your diet, even if you’re pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, as it meets the “Best Choice” list as a low mercury option.
“Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower inflammation and cortisol levels associated with stress,” says Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN. “I love mixing this canned salmon with a little mayonnaise and some pickled red onion and minced celery as a stress-busting salad topper.”
8. Barkthins Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Feel like chocolate after a long and stressful day? Enjoying a serving of Barkthins Dark Chocolate and Almonds could do the trick.
“A 2015 study shows that eating 40 g of dark chocolate daily for 2 weeks is an effective method for reducing perceived stress in females, says Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND. Almonds alone or combined with dark chocolate can even help to improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation, per a November 2017 study in the Journal of the American Heart Association. “With this snack, not only are you satisfying a sweet craving but you are helping yourself to destress,” adds Magill.
Buy now: Barkthins Dark Chocolate and Almonds
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