LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — April is National Stress Awareness Month, and health experts say that many ways to manage stress involve the decisions you make about your food.

You can watch portion sizing and include a variety of colors in your diet, for example, said Sparrow Hospital dietitian Sarah Smith.

Meal prepping can also be a huge time saver in the end, helping to reduce stress as well.

“When we plan ahead, we’re going to eat more mindfully at a meal as well,” she said.

Stress awareness also comes from being aware of what you eat.

Smith recommends eating balanced meals that include lean proteins, whole grains and produce. She also says to include fruits and vegetables for antioxidants — the first line of defense for our immune system.

Vitamin C and folate help to decrease depression and anxiety symptoms.

“All of those foods are going to provide your body with antioxidants, which is going to help keep your immune system strong because our immune system is that first line of defense when it comes to stress,” Smith said.