Eat your way to a stress free Christmas.

Mother's top festive tips.

By Jay Jackson

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The festive season is upon us once again but if you’re chockablock with work deadlines, haven’t started your Christmas shopping and the in-laws have just invited themselves to stay, then we’re here to help with our handy guide to food that can lower your stress levels.

Of course food can’t magically take away all your problems and have your in-laws packed off home but it can be a really powerful tool to make you feel better and calm you down when things get that little bit tense.

So here are some of Mother’s favourite foodie tips to help you throughout this festive season.

1) Magnesium

Magnesium actually helps us feel relaxed. It works to regulate muscle relaxation which becomes very important when we’re stressed and our muscles begin to tense. If you can feel that happening then tuck into lots of dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach - the best source of magnesium. Luckily for us, dark chocolate also contains magnesium so if there’s ever an excuse.

2) B Vitamins

The B Vitamins are a powerful little team and help regulate our neurological health. From B1 which regulates our mood and maintains the health of nerve cells to B6 which produces serotonin, these guys are incredibly helpful when we need a bit of help to cope with high stress levels. There are lots of ways to introduce more B Vitamins into your diet but the very best sources are whole grains, eggs (make sure you eat the yolk), salmon, red meat and, dare we say it… offal.

3) Balancing your blood sugar

When you’re stressed the worst thing you can do is let your blood sugar hit the floor. Of course you shouldn’t deprive yourself a big fat mince pie but if you’re digging into the carbs, make sure you’re eating lots of wholegrains. We all know that naughty refined white bread and pasta can make us bloated but it will also cause your blood sugar levels to quickly spike and drop meaning you’ll be less able to cope with any stressful situations. High fibre and multi-grain products will take much longer for your body to digest meaning no spike and a calmer you.

4) Watch your caffeine

After a string of Christmas parties you may want to reach for the espresso but whilst caffeine gives us an initial boost, in the long run it will leave you feeling low and lethargic. Too much will also leave you feel jittery and even more stressed. Not good when you’re about to face Oxford St on Christmas Eve.

5) Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids have a wide range of health benefits and there’s no doubt they should form part of our diet but more recently they’ve also been found to help reduce anxiety. Luckily for us they’re present in all sorts of delicious foods such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds and avocados giving us an even better reason to tuck into smoked salmon and avo on toast on Christmas Day morning.

As you know, here at Mother we’re all about moderation. If there’s ever a time to indulge then it’s Christmas, so tuck into those pigs in blankets and delve into the Celebrations. Just try to make sure you’re giving your body and mind an extra helping hand this festive season.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!