Feeling Stressed? 9 Best Foods to Help Combat Stress
The next time you feel your stress levels rising, start filling your bellies with these foods that are scientifically proven to help! There are so many ways to help manage and reduce stress and food can either help or make it worse depending on what you eat. So make sure to pay added attention to what you shove into your mouth when you're feeling a bit frazzled. Here are 10 of the best foods to help you fight off stress:
1. Herbal Teas
Drinking a warm cup of tea is a great way to help you feel calmer. A warm beverage has the ability to increase feelings of interpersonal warmth and friendliness. Herbal teas especially, such as lavender and chamomile, have been shown to have a relaxing effect and are great for winding down. Aside from herbal teas, green tea - which contains caffeine - is also a great tea because it is full of flavonoids which studies have shown to help support brain health. However, it would be wise to cut the green tea during the afternoon and evening so that it doesn't impact your sleep.
2. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is not only a real treat but it can also help to reduce stress! It is rich in antioxidants, which may help lower stress hormone levels in the body. However, it is also important to eat dark chocolate in moderation and make sure it doesn't contain too much unnecessary added sugar. Make sure the quality of dark chocolate is also high-quality so that your chocolate is packed with pure ingredients with no hidden additives or chemicals.
Huh? Well according to research, carbs can temporarily increase levels of serotonin - a hormone that helps to boost your mood and reduce stress. This in turn can help those under stress to have better concentration and focus. Make sure to choose healthy, unrefined carbs such as sweet potatoes and whole grains and limit simple carbs like cookies, cakes, and any "white" foods like white pasta and white bread.
Avocados are not only delicious but that also offer omega 3 fatty acids which are known to help reduce stress and boost concentration and mood. In fact, our body needs to get enough omega 3 fatty acids in order to support your overall health.
Adding seafood to your diet can not only help support heart health but it can also help fight stress. Fatty fish are a fantastic choice because they contain omega 3 which can help boost mood. If you don't like fish, there are also other whole food options such as chia seeds, walnuts, eggs, milk, and nut milk. You can also opt for omega 3 supplements in the form of fish oil.
Nuts contain nutrients such as B vitamins and healthy fatty acids which can help reduce stress. In fact, pistachios in particular can play a part in reducing stress levels. However, with all foods, make sure to be balanced and limit your nut intake to just a handful a day to avoid too much calories. In addition, nuts and seeds are a high source of magnesium which can also help with anxiety and stress.
7. Citrus Fruits + Strawberries
High levels of vitamin C may also help ease stress levels. According to a study, vitamin C helped reduce stress levels in those who took about 500 mg a day. So if you can, try to eat more fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries!
Did you know that your gut health can also directly affect your mood? So another great way to manage stress is to support your gut and keep it health. Probiotic - good bacteria - are great to help boost the immune system, improve digestion & nutrient absorption, and improving anxiety & mood. Why? Well, the gut bacteria can help produce serotonin and GABA which positively affect the mood. You can take probiotic supplements or consume yogurt and kombucha.
9. High Fiber Foods
Add more fiber to your diet. Fiber-rich foods are gut-friendly which in turn, can help you reduce your stress levels. What are some examples of fiber-rich foods? Green peas, berries, almonds, flax seed, greens (such as kale), and whole grains.
So....the next time you feel your stress level rising...you know what to whip up for your upcoming meals. We hope that these suggestions can help boost your mood and lower your anxiety levels!