Stress can impact you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Your heart rate increases, your blood pressure rises, and your neck can tighten. The physical symptoms can be manifestations of what’s going on internally.
If you’re trying to lower your stress levels, you probably already know to start with the basics: self-care, sleep management, and exercise. However, did you had any idea about there are a few food sources that lower stress, as well?
*While eating certain types of food may help diminish stress levels, consuming others may keep stress at its peak.*
6 Foods Lower your Stress level and Nourish your Body
stress leads people make poor food choices. When you self-medicate with junk food, it can actually amplify anxiety and do more damage to your health. But there are a few healthy foods that actually help offset stress.
Include these in your regular diet, and you'll feel more grounded and more productive.
#1 Foods Rich in Vitamin-B
There are 13 essential vitamins the human body needs to function properly, 8 of which fall under the B-group category. Vitamin B is good for energy, metabolization, and stress.
Vitamin B12 also helps regulate the body’s folic acid levels. Vitamin B12 also promotes a healthy nervous system. The nervous system controls the adrenal glands, which in turn controls the body’s cortisol levels.
Vitamin B has the largest effect on stress. Each of the eight B-group vitamins plays a role in stress regulation. Found in animal products and various nuts and vegetables, vitamin B is consumed primarily through diet. Though a patient may be deficient in a single B vitamin, a B-complex supplement can still help.
Try these foods:
- Liver and Other Organ Meats
- Oysters, Clams and Mussels
- Chicken and Turkey
- Fortified Cereal
- Nutritional Yeast - Nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast pack a high amount of B vitamins but a significant portion of the vitamins in nutritional yeast, including B12, are added. These products can be used to add flavor or nutrients to other foods.
#2 Food Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acid
omega-3 intake can reduce perceived distress symptoms, prevent aggression toward others during times of stress, and diminish the negative health consequences that come from chronic stress exposure.
Many mainstream health organizations recommend a minimum of 250–500 mg of omega-3s per day for healthy adults
Here is a list of foods that are very high in omega-3:
- Caviar (fish eggs)
- Flax Seeds
- Chia Seeds
#3 Foods Rich in Magnesium
Magnesium modulates activity of the body's stress-response system, and studies suggest increasing magnesium intake may reduce anxiety, ease stress and minimize the response to fear.
Studies suggest magnesium improves total sleep time and quality and shortens the time it takes to fall asleep.
Try these Rich Magnesium food sources:
- Dark Chocolate
- Seeds (Recommended: Pumpkin Seeds)
- Leafy Greens - Spinach & more
- Whole Grains
#4 Foods Rich in Protein
Foods rich in protein contain amino acids to help produce key neurotransmitters in preventing and treating depression and anxiety. Protein before bed reduce night-time hunger/carvings.
Bodies use tryptophan (essential amino acid and the precursor of 5-HTP) - to make serotonin & melatonin - to help regulate sleep cycles and moods.
Try these Rich Protein sources:
- Chicken Breast
- Turkey Breast
- Diary Products
- Fish and seafood – Fish, Prawns, Crab, Lobster, Mussels, Scallops, clams
- Poultry – Chicken, Duck, Emu, Goose, Bush birds
- Nuts (including nut pastes) and Seeds – Almonds, Pine nuts, Walnuts, Macadamias, Hazelnuts, Cashews, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds
#5 Foods Rich in Gut-Healthy
The physical symptoms of anxiety vary, but many of the more common ones like a churning stomach, diarrhea, or feeling sick relate to your gut. Scientists have found that improvements in gut health can help with anxiety symptoms. Probiotics can create a healthy Gut Microbiota, helping you manage stress
The best way to support healthy gut hormones is with good-for-you bacteria called probiotics.
Here is a list of foods that are very high in Gut-Health:
- Greek yogurt
- Papaya & Pineapple
- Muesli with warm milk or cold milk (Muesli-50gm & Milk-200ml)
#6 Foods Rich in Vitamin-C
Vitamin C helps to reduce stress because it allows the body to quickly clear out cortisol, a primary stress hormone that increases sugars in the bloodstream.
Research has confirmed that vitamin C is more than just an antioxidant. It also elevates moods, reduces stress and distress, and reduces anxiety.
Vitamin C reduced stress levels in participants taking 500 mg per day, and also pointed to possible anxiety prevention.
These foods high in vitamin C may also have a similar impact on stress levels:
- Green and red peppers
- Sweet and white potatoes
- Tomatoes & tomato juice
- Winter Squash
- Brussels Sprouts
Foods to Avoid
Try to avoid these foods:
- Sugary drinks and foods
- Processed foods, such as chips, cookies, frozen foods and ready made meals
- Foods high in trans fats and excessive saturated fats, such as fried foods, red meat, full-fat dairy, butter and baked goods.
Indeed there you have it: 6 Foods to Reduce Stress & Nourish your body.
Although we can’t control our genes or, to some extent, our environment, we can help our bodies when we make smart decisions about the food we eat.
"When it comes to our health, nutrition is the one thing we can control" - COURTNEY BRATH
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