You take a lot of steps to make your day as stress-free as possible. So why not enlist the help of some foods that can help keep you calm when the moment gets heated? Find out how the foods we eat can contribute to our stress or help fight it.
The Food and Stress Connection
We all have our comfort foods that we reach for when we’re feeling down or looking to unwind after a long day. Others of us may keep a pick-me-up close at hand to chomp on during the day. Sweets, caffeine and alcohol are the go-to’s for many.
The truth is there is food that is good for our stress and food that is not so good. If you have food allergies or a food intolerance then you know that you should stay away from certain foods that can make you sick or set your mood on edge. Things like caffeine, processed sugars or alcohol often lead to anxiety spikes which creates a load of stress on its own.
Fortunately there are several foods that can turn a bad mood around when consumed regularly. Enriching your diet with fresh fruits and veggies helps boost your nutrition, which in turn makes you feel better throughout the day. Likewise, eliminating sugar is one of the single best things you can do to help yourself respond better to stress. See The Sugar Impact Diet by JJ Virgin.
Your diet plays a bit role in the way you feel, so it makes sense that a well-rounded diet can help you feel less stressed in the long run. Of course making sure your food isn’t a stress trigger means reading labels and taking extra care, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Here are 9 Foods That Fight Stress
Adding some more of these foods to your diet can help lower stress and promote relaxation, leading to improved health. You may even be surprised to see some of the foods that made the list.
Blueberries get their deep color from anthocyanins, an antioxidant that help with dopamine production, making them idea for stress busting.
2. Green Leafy Vegetables
Kale may owe its recent popularity to its stress fighting abilities. Dark leafy greens such as spinach provide a nice dose of folate which also helps with serotonin and dopamine production.
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Studies have shown that eating a bit of dark chocolate daily can reduce stress. Dark chocolate also has plenty of antioxidants which help give your health a boost as well.
This sweet, red fruit can help you knock stress out of the park with its high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
5. Green Tea
Green tea has been known for its several health benefits for age. Stress relief has always been on that list. Green tea contains plenty of catechins and antioxidants that make it a health tonic, but its stress fighting abilities come from the compound epogallocatechin gallate.
Ginger root has also enjoyed a long history as a natural medicine. It has the ability to relieve tension headaches and pain, which helps drop stress in that regard. Ginger’s flavor can strike the palate roughly so if you want to try it for stress relief consider a ginger tea or turning to aromatherapy.
You might have resisted it as a kid but broccoli can help soothe the stress of adulthood. This dark-green veggie is packed with vitamin B which helps stave off depression, anxiety and stress. As a bonus it can be prepared in many different ways to make it much more enjoyable.
Almonds are a great on-the-go snack and contain selenium, a compound that is associated with anxiety and depression. A small handful of almonds also comes with magnesium, vitamin E and zinc, all which help boost your immune system and help cut back on stress about your health.
While eating a fresh slice of orange is fun in itself it comes with the benefit of a dose of vitamin C, which like strawberries, help reduce cortisol levels. That high dose of vitamin C also helps your immune system bounce back into shape. If you reach for an orange to turn your mood around reach for the fresh fruit rather than the juice which may be lacking in certain necessary nutrients.
Fighting Stress Safely
Depression and anxiety are serious conditions that should not be ignored. While adding the above foods to your diet certainly won’t hurt checking with your doctor can help correctly diagnose any issues that may be causing stress so that you can work back towards optimal health.