At this time of year everyone seems to be in somewhat of a frenzy to get everything done – and if you’re anything like me there’s the added pressure of tidying up loose ends before the end of the year.

Time speeds up and the number of tasks that need completing seem limitless.

So I’m going to take some of my own nutritional advice and reach for one of these five foods or drinks to make sure that I support my nervous and immune systems and hopefully give my poor exhausted adrenal glands (they produce stress hormones in your body and are almost certainly in overdrive right now) a rest at the same time.

These five festive season stress busters can also help with mood, cognitive function and give your energy levels a much needed end of year boost.

1. LIQUORICE TEA

Licorice Tea

This herb is perfect to help fight adrenal exhaustion and to boost mental and athletic performance. Two or three cups a day if feeling really frazzled is optimal. Healthista likes: Pukka Licorice and Cinnamon Tea £2.29 from supermarkets

 

2. DARK CHOCOLATE

Dark Chocolate

Must be 70 percent or more – this decadent treat will not only make you feel good but it will also boost your immune and nervous system function : and believe it or or not if you have just one or two pieces mid morning it can even help you lose that bad mood! Healthista likes: Lindt 85 per cent £1.29 from Tesco

 

3. BEETROOT OR CARROT JUICE

Beetroot juice

These phytonutrient rich juices will deliver an array of enzymes, vitamins and minerals to help support nervous system function. They are natural energy boosters and are therefore a great choice pre-exercise. Healthista likes: Fresh, if you can or try Beet-It Organic Beet Juice Shots £20.85 pack of 15 (from Amazon)

 

4. PRUNES

Prunes

Prunes are antioxidant rich and are believed to help combat memory loss and mental deterioration which is perfect for this time of year. They can even help to prevent mood swings and boost energy. Go for the organic variety and check the label to ensure no sugar’s been added.

 

5. BERRIES

raspberry background

Berries will boost your brain as well as support immune function. They ate nature’s perfect energy food and can even assist with weight management.

Hopefully if you include one or two of these in your daily diet over the festive season you might just feel that little less frazzled.

Other posts by Rick Hay:

10 pre-exercise snacks that won’t ruin your diet

Is seven a day the new five a day?

How to choose a protein powder

What to eat if you exercise

 

Look out for Rick’s Anti-Ageing Fitness and Diet Plan launching on healthista with cooking and workout videos on January 13th

Rick PhotoRick Hay is a sport and exercise nutritionist, lectures at The College of Naturopathic Medicine in London and is available for consultations in central London. Contact Rick rickhay.co.ukfutrients.com or follow Rick at @nutrtionalphys