6 Stress Busting Foods for Tax Season

March 30, 2017

Showcase stress-reducing foods by way of sample stations, displays, and even better, featured items on your grocerant menu.

The tax deadline is around the corner, and many people will be feeling the stress of filing their returns on time. As a food retailer or grocerant, this is a great opportunity to showcase stress-reducing foods by way of sample stations, displays, and even better, featured items on your grocerant menu. Food can be a great source of comfort. Lure your shoppers away from the option of fast food with alternatives that nature provides us with foods that are known to have calming effects.

There are certain combinations of foods that can leave us feeling not just something close to blissful, but satisfied and nourished as well. For the most part, calming foods are easy to digest and contain nutrients that can relax the nervous system or boost mood in some way. Here are a few suggestions on how to naturally promote relaxation and stress relief through food and drink, and infuse some Zen into this time of year.

Tryptophan rich foods! This essential amino acid, found in protein-containing foods, helps produce serotonin, which can elevate your mood and ward off depression. Serotonin also helps promote adequate sleep. On its own, tryptophan may have a calming effect. Combining tryptophan-containing foods with complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, increases absorption and aids in the production of serotonin. In addition to turkey, foods that contain high levels of tryptophan include shrimp, spinach, chicken, tuna, soybeans, milk, salmon, and eggs. Vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower are also great tryptophan sources. Build displays with all the ingredients to a whole grain turkey pot pie recipe or ask your grocerant's chef to feature items that contain tryptophan.

Chamomile, another very popular relaxation aid, has been used since ancient times and is known to promote general relaxation and relieve stress. Chamomile tea has been used a mild sleep aid and can help with digestion. Its leaves can be found dried as tea and has a very pleasant and calming aroma. Offer complimentary chamomile tea to shoppers and include information on calming foods at your tea station when they enter the store.

Omega-3s, try eating food that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid, such as walnuts, salmon, sardines, flax seed, chia seeds, herring, mackerel, and omega-3 fortified eggs. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is needed for optimal brain health. Omega-3s also have an anti-inflammatory effect that may help in pain relief, and helping to regulate the negative effects of stress hormones. Ask your store dietitian to promote the health benefits of canned seafood by offering creative, budget friendly ways to feed the whole family with dishes like tuna casserole or tuna lettuce wraps.

Zinc rich foods such as spinach, lamb, and grass-fed beef can also have a calming effect, as they help to stabilize metabolic rate, balance blood sugar, and aid in the optimal function of the immune system. Zinc is a trace mineral, essential for growth and development of all cells in our bodies, and thus a deficiency can lead to a litany of problems. Other good sources of zinc include calf's liver, shrimp, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and crimini mushrooms. Have your grocerant chef put together a classic tax season steak dinner for two special for take out, so in the midst of working on taxes, your shoppers don't have the added stress of cooking.

Seeds. Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium as are leafy greens, yogurt, nuts and fish. Loading up on magnesium may help regulate emotions. It’s been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue and fight irritability. Magnesium is often referred to as the relaxation mineral and is essential to over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. More shoppers would probably buy seeds if they knew what to do with them. How about a display explaining all of the different ways you can incorporate seeds easily into your foods? 

Water is essential for every function in the body, but during busy days it’s one of the easiest things to forget. Drinking at least 8 ounces of water with each meal can help supply adequate energy, relieve headaches and head congestion, and generally help you think straight during hectic holiday times. It also helps with proper digestion. Drink plenty of filtered water throughout the day to remain hydrated, and feeling calm and healthy. How about a complimentary bottle of water for all shoppers reminding them how staying hydrated can help reduce stress?