Daily life challenges may cause emotional and physical tension at some point. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s simply your body communicating that perhaps you need to take it slow or seek help. And while most people may find solace in unhealthy foods when stressed, being specific and intentional with what you eat during this period may bring tremendous relief and change to your situation. That’s why you should focus more on stress-relieving foods
There are different ways to deal with stress; however, the easiest and the most beneficial thing to do is to engage in foods that have been proven to fight stress and relieve anxiety.
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Best Stress Relieving Foods
1. Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard is a leafy green vegetable rich in magnesium and other beneficial nutrients.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It’s essential for different functions, including relieving stress and fighting depression.
Consuming enough magnesium-containing foods is essential when dealing with stress, especially because stress can cause you to lose magnesium, making the situation even worse.
According to research, magnesium relieves stress by blocking the hippocampus part of the brain from stimulating the release of stress hormones. Magnesium also binds to the calming receptors in the brain, causing you to feel relaxed and peaceful.
One meta-analysis found that people under the age of 65 with low magnesium levels had a 22 % higher risk of developing depression.
In another controlled trial, a daily intake of 450 mg of magnesium improved mood in depressed older adults to the same effect as taking an antidepressant drug.
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are full of nutrients, including minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system and relieve stress, among other benefits.
They are exceptionally high in magnesium, the best-known mineral for promoting calmness and relaxation. They are also rich in potassium, which regulates your heartbeat when stressed or anxious. Sweet Potato Benefits.
4. Fermented foods
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and pickles are rich in probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that have been shown to relieve anxiety and stress.
Researchers believe fermented foods relieve stress due to their ability to improve gut health, which naturally promotes brain health and function, including mood enhancement.
One study found that regular consumption of fermented foods may reduce symptoms of social anxiety. 8 Best Natural Probiotics.
The high sulfur content in garlic has been shown to increase glutathione levels. Glutathione is a powerful and versatile antioxidant that protects the cell mitochondria by eliminating free radicals that may cause oxidative stress and inflammation.
Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of depression. So without a sufficient amount of glutathione, oxidative stress can build up and lead to depression and other mental issues.
Researchers have found that low glutathione levels may specifically be a marker for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
Chickpea is a type of legume loved extensively as the main ingredient in hummus, a delicious spread made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
They are packed with stress-relieving nutrients such as B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
They are also rich in tryptophan, essential for the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
Besides, chickpeas are full of protein which supports brain health and mental performance.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable packed with a tone of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, including stress-relieving B vitamins, mainly folic acid. This has been shown to relieve stress, panic, anxiety, and depression.
Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, a sulfur compound with neuroprotective benefits, including antidepressant effects. Sulforaphane has also been shown to increase glutathione levels in the blood and the brain, which staves off free radicals, reduces disease and promotes wellbeing, including stress relief.
Parsley is a widely cultivated herb and vegetable. It’s rich in antioxidants and important vitamins such as A, C, and k and minerals, including potassium and folate.
It has been used to treat inflammatory conditions, allergies, and lower high blood pressure, among other benefits.
The high antioxidant levels in parsley may help fight oxidative stress, thus improving mental conditions like anxiety and stress.
9. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is among the best-known stress-soothing teas. It’s also regarded as a sleep inducer or a mild tranquilizer.
It’s rich in apigenin, an antioxidant that promotes relaxation, initiates sleep, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
One study found that taking chamomile extract reduced salivary cortisol levels and improved moderately to severe anxiety disorders.
Blueberries are the king of all berries. They are rich in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids that fight inflammation and free radicles in the body.
In doing so, they protect against cardiovascular conditions, cancer, diabetes, and cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Flavonoids may also enhance your mood and protect against depression. Benefits Of Blueberries.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, potassium, and magnesium. Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure, while magnesium is an anti-stress mineral that relaxes tense muscles and reduces stress hormone levels. Add it to salads or use it as guacamole on your favorite sandwich. Are Avocados Good For You?
Research suggests that asparagus may reduce stress by preventing excessive muscle tension. A study conducted by Georgetown University School of Medicine found that people who eat asparagus have lower levels of anxiety, depression, and perceived stress. Why? Asparagus is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all nutrients necessary for healthy brain function. Researchers believe that asparagus helps your body produce serotonin, an important neurotransmitter linked to mood regulation and decreased levels of depression.
Apples contain complex carbohydrates, which are great for giving you energy throughout your day. They’re also rich in fiber, so they can keep you feeling full and help improve blood sugar levels. One more bonus: They’re an excellent source of quercetin—an antioxidant that fights stress.
In fact, one study found that women who ate apples (along with other foods high in quercetin) had less cortisol (the stress hormone) than those who didn’t consume them. So go ahead and reach for an apple if you need a midday pick-me-up! See Green Apple Benefits.
Almonds are high in vitamin E, magnesium, and calcium. Almonds also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make serotonin—the feel-good chemical in your brain. The combination of vitamin E and magnesium helps relieve stress, while calcium can help you relax muscles and reduce anxiety. Add almonds to your cereal, or even just enjoy a handful as a snack. Just don’t overeat them—or any other nut! See Almond Benefits.
15. Sunflower seeds
Research has shown that sunflower seeds can help reduce stress and anxiety because they contain choline, an essential vitamin found in all plant foods. Choline stimulates acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential to memory and learning that is also involved in regulating moods. It’s no wonder why these little kernels are so effective at relieving stress.
Sunflower seeds are also high in magnesium, which helps relax muscles and nerves by activating calcium channels. They are also full of B vitamins, which have been linked to lower levels of cortisol (the hormone associated with chronic stress).
A 2012 study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that participants who consumed more vitamin B6 had lower levels of cortisol than those who consumed less. These superfoods may be small, but they pack a big punch when it comes to fighting stress. See Sunflower Seeds Nutrition.
You might know tahini as a buttery, rich spread for pita or other flatbread. Or perhaps you’ve discovered its place in certain Mediterranean recipes. But did you know that tahini has natural stress-reducing properties?
Tahini is rich in tyrosine—an amino acid that helps reduce stress levels and boost moods by increasing your dopamine levels.
It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to promote relaxation. So next time you need a little pick me up, reach for some hummus, which contains tahini as an ingredient. See Homemade Tahini.
17. Pumpkin seeds
While eating these good seeds might seem strange when you’re feeling stressed, they are rich in tryptophan and zinc, which will help calm you down. Studies have shown that people who eat plenty of zinc feel less stress than those who don’t. Add some pumpkin seeds to your diet—they taste great on their own or can be used as a topping for yogurt, salads, and even oatmeal. Pumpkin Seeds Benefits.
Vitamin C is an important part of everyone’s diet. Not only does it help keep your immune system healthy, but Vitamin C has also been shown to help manage stress and anxiety.
According to research from The University of Tennessee, adults who took daily doses of vitamin C were less likely to suffer from feelings of sadness or depression than their peers who got little or no vitamin C in their diets. For best results, try eating at least one serving of fruit like orange every day. See Grapefruit VS Oranges.
Beets are an excellent source of folate, which helps regulate levels of stress hormones in your body and contributes to healthy neurotransmitter function, including those involved in mood regulation. Bonus: This veggie is also loaded with antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage. Are Beets Good For You?
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, has been found to reduce stress hormones (including cortisol and adrenaline) and may even stimulate serotonin production. Adding turmeric to your diet may help combat anxiety and depression.
The active ingredient, curcumin, has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms of depression, PTSD, and other mental health issues. See Turmeric Recipes.
You can add it to your diet by making traditional Indian dishes or adding it to smoothies, soups, and stews. See Organic Turmeric.
Oatmeal is packed with nutrients that can help to keep your body feeling strong and healthy, even when under stress. Oatmeal is also a great source of fiber, which can help to regulate your digestive system and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Health Benefits Of Oatmeal.
When it comes to stress-relieving foods, walnuts are one of the best. Walnuts contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce inflammation and improve brain function. Additionally, walnuts are a good source of magnesium, which is known to help relax the body and relieve stress. How Many Walnuts To Eat?
Pistachios are a great stress-relieving food. They’re packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which help keep your energy levels up and stabilize your blood sugar. Plus, they’re a good source of magnesium, a mineral that’s essential for relaxation.
24. Coconut oil
There are countless benefits to coconut oil, including the fact that it can help relieve stress. Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, and can further help to reduce stress levels. . It also contains medium-chain fatty acids that can help improve cognitive function and reduce anxiety. One study showed that coconut oil was able to reduce stress and improve the quality of life in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Also See, Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil.
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Stress can be inevitable, but how you deal with it is entirely under your control. While you can divert your mind and thoughts from worry, food may be your greatest weapon to tackle stress without putting too much thought into it.
The top stress-relieving foods discussed above are high in important nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and B vitamins that help to calm your mind and body and ease feelings of anxiety.
These include foods like swiss chad, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, garlic, fermented foods, parsley, and chamomile tea.
In addition, the properties in these foods may help promote general mental health and wellbeing.
Purpose to include at least one or more of these foods in your daily diet to relieve stress and improve health.
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