Food News

Tax-Time Jitters? Try Omelets, Asparagus, and Kefir Milk

Tax day is scheduled for next Tuesday, April 17. The IRS is giving us two extra days to file returns. This also means two extra days to worry about audits, refunds, proper documentation, math errors, and identity theft problems. Believe it or not, there are ways to muffle tax-time anxiety.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, Turkish cardiothoracic surgeon and TV personality, has some superfoods and tricks he claims will boost your mood and help you relax.

For anxiety: kefir milk. This is not like regular milk because it's fermented with probiotic kefir grains. It is loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that helps raise serotonin levels in the brain, which seems to reduce anxious feelings. Oz recommends drinking one cup a day to help you feel calm. I'd add some Kahlua to it, but that's just me.

Try eating asparagus a few days before your taxes are due or your audit is scheduled. This veggie is packed with folic acid. If you don't have folic acid in your system, chances are you will be depressed. Just one serving of asparagus has 66 percent of the necessary daily folic acid you'll need to keep the jitters at bay. The doc recommends using the tips in an omelet or as a side dish. Steaming them for a few minutes, letting them cool, and then mixing them into a salad is a good regulator too. I'd dip them in some Kahlua, but, well, you know.

While heading to the tax place, eat some oranges. They're packed with vitamin C, which quickly brings high stress hormones back to a normal level. Vitamin C also helps lower blood pressure due to stressful situations, and besides, they're delicious. No Kahlua here, but a little vodka and some OJ would definitely relax me.

Exercising is also recommended to relieve stress. Before your appointment, walk around a bit. Exercise creates endorphins, which are antidepressants and make you happy. That makes miserable moments more bearable. Here's the pièce de resistance: Have a piece of dark chocolate while you're walking. It's good for your heart, opening the arteries and allowing for healthy blood flow.

Oz has one more trick he swears works: "This is a fool-proof stress reliever when stress levels are high. Go to a private place and curse in a loud voice for a few moments. No one needs to hear you, but a good curse word helps you cope and gets tensions out of you. It works every time."

You're finally ready to go into that office with a big smile on your face. Well, maybe not a big smile, but not completely stressed-out either. Good luck.

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Marguerite Gil