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10 Stress Relieving Foods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

10 Stress Relieving Foods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Published on January 26, 2022

To reduce stress levels, you may already know you should start with the basics: self-care, sleep management, and exercise. However, what if I told you some foods can help reduce stress, too?

Table of Contents

What is Stress, exactly?

Stress can encompass a wide range of experiences, both scientifically and unsystematically. The term is used interchangeably in both scientific circles and in colloquial usage to describe a range of related but fundamentally different events. “Stress” can refer to actual life events that happen to an individual (hereafter “stressors” or “stressor exposures”), such as losing a job or divorcing a spouse. Furthermore, stress refers to the biological, physiological, and cognitive reactions elicited by such situations (“stress responses”).

A healthy diet can reduce anxiety and stress

Chronic stress can lead to serious physical and mental damage, even when occasional bouts of stress are difficult to avoid. Stress can lead to conditions such as heart disease and depression.

As well as following healthy guidelines such as eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and abstaining from drinking alcohol and caffeine, many other dietary factors can help relieve anxiety. In addition, complex carbohydrates are metabolized more slowly, resulting in a more stable blood glucose level and a calmer mood.

If you’re feeling tense, there are many ways to manage and even reduce your stress levels. One of your best allies – or enemies – can be food. When you’re feeling frazzled, it’s essential to pay attention to what you eat. A review published in June 2016 in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences noted that just being stressed can have detrimental effects on your health, including your need for vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium.

A 2015 study published in the journal Stress suggests that the amount and quality of nutrients you consume over a lifetime can have an impact on the nervous system’s circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. Another study that was published in October 2017 in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Behavioral Medicine found gut microbiota, a group of good and bad bacteria in the intestine, to be an important link between what you eat and drink and how you feel.

Best Stress Relieving Foods that help Ease Anxiety

Here are 10 science-backed foods that may help tame stress:

1. Kimchi

Kimchi, also known as Korean kimchi, is a fermented vegetable dish usually made from napa cabbage and daikon, a type of radish. Fermented foods like kimchi are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial bacteria called probiotics.

Stress and anxiety may be reduced by fermented foods, according to research. Researchers found that eating fermented foods more frequently was associated with fewer symptoms of social anxiety in young adults.

Korean Kimchi is a good stress-relieving type of food.

The health benefits of probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods like kimchi have been demonstrated in other studies. They probably do this by interacting with your gut bacteria, which directly affects your mood.

2. Artichokes

They are particularly rich in prebiotics, a type of fibre that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. Artichokes are an incredibly concentrated source of fibre.

Artichoke contains prebiotics, such as fructooligosaccharides (FOSs), that may reduce stress in animals.

Artichoke plate

Moreover, a review demonstrated that high-quality, prebiotic-rich diets may reduce your risk of stress among those eating 5 grams or more per day of prebiotics per day.

Additionally, artichokes contain potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K, which are all necessary for a healthy response to stress.

3. Fish

By adding seafood to your diet, you can reduce stress and prevent heart disease. The Harvard Health Blog suggests eating fatty fish because they’re heart-healthy, and their omega-3s may help ease depression because they interact easily with emotion-related brain molecules.

Seafood containing Omega-3 helps promote brain function and reduce anxiety and stress

Not a fish fan? As well as whole-food alternatives, there are fortified foods such as certain brands of eggs, milk, soy milk, nut milk, seaweed, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. In addition, fish oil supplements, which are available at most drugstores and supermarkets, contain omega-3 fatty acids. Harvard Health Blog reported that they’re linked to a lower risk of strokes and heart disease.

Scientists state that fish oil is fine as long as you eat a balanced diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fish twice a week. Before beginning a supplement routine, you should speak with your doctor or registered dietitian to determine the best brand and dosage to meet your health goals.

4. Shellfish

Mussels, oysters, and other shellfish contain amino acids such as taurine, which may have mood-boosting effects.

Neurotransmitters like dopamine, which help regulate stress response, are produced by taurine and other amino acids. Studies suggest that taurine may have antidepressant properties.

Another study in 2,089 Japanese adults found that low zinc, copper, and manganese intake was linked to depression and anxiety patterns. Shellfish also contain vitamin B12, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, which can also boost mood.

5. Turkey breast

Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, is thought to be behind Thanksgiving’s food coma. This amino acid helps create serotonin, “the brain chemical that controls hunger and well-being,” Mangieri says.

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience examined whether tryptophan supplements or placebo would help calm argumentative individuals.

Turkey meat is another food that reduces stress and anxiety

Researchers found that those who took tryptophan improved their moods by the end of the study compared to those who did not. Tryptophan is also found in nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, oats, beans, and eggs.

6. Avocado Smothered Chicken

B vitamins found in organ meats are B12, B6, riboflavin, and folate, which are important in reducing stress. Organ meat, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys of cows and chickens, is an excellent source.

B vitamins, for example, are essential to the production of neurotransmitters that regulate moods, such as dopamine and serotonin.

A medium-sized banana has more potassium than a half-avocado, one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure. When you’re feeling stressed and craving a high-fat treat, guacamole, made from avocados, might be the answer.

A delicious avocado egg roll topped with a tender chicken breast and baked to perfection, this Avocado Smothered Chicken has all your favourite things about avocado egg rolls.

7. Beef and Lentil Soup

This yummy dish is nutritional, high in minerals, rich in protein, low in fat, full of fibre (digestive health). Lentils are an excellent source of fibre. Almost 25% of lentils’ calories come from protein, making them an excellent vegetarian source of protein.

Rustic Lentil soup with beef

It’s a carbohydrate, but because lentils burn slowly, they keep you full for longer. Lentils are also thought to help keep the heart-healthy.

There are lots of vegetables packed into this hearty lentil soup, and ground beef for the meat is convenient! All of the ingredients are good for lowering stress levels, including garlic, beef, and lentils.

8. Eggs

Whole eggs are one of the few natural sources of vitamin D. Several health benefits are associated with this nutrient, including improved immunity, anti-inflammation, and mood regulation.

Fried eggs in a frying pan and raw eggs

Eggs contain acetylcholine, too, according to nutritionist Keri Gans, RD, who says this chemical functions as a neurotransmitter in the brain and can affect your ability to regulate mood, which could help you cope with stress.

9. Prawn Spring Roll

The protein, calcium, and iodine in prawns are high. Prawns are also high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Compared with red meat, they provide a high level of protein.

Spring rolls are just a bunch of your favourite fresh, crunchy veggies wrapped in thin rice paper. If you’ve never eaten one, think of them as a rice paper wrapper for your favourite veggies. It gets dipped into a delicious, savoury sauce.

Add some healthy seasonal veggies to your spring rolls to make them as healthy as possible. A lean protein like cooked prawns or chicken breast will make them more of a meal than a snack.

10. Butternut Pumpkin Soup

Among other benefits, pumpkin is beneficial for digestion, blood pressure, and skin and hair health. Also high in vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, and manganese, butternut pumpkin is a good source of nutrients.

Tasty pumpkin soup with fresh butternut pumpkins

For instance, Butternut pumpkin helps reduce anxiety, stress and decreases your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. Enhancing the complexion, increasing energy, and maintaining a healthy weight is also possible with it.

Eat well but don’t rely on foods only

If you want to reduce stress, you should keep this one piece of advice in mind: Don’t skip meals. Your blood sugar level can be balanced by regular eating – between three and five hours a day.

Having low blood sugar for a prolonged period can be stressful on the body, increasing cortisol production. Keeping blood sugar balanced can help.

Although supplements may seem tempting, don’t rely on them to get the vitamins and nutrients you need.

If you don’t prioritize stress management in other ways, these foods may indeed reduce your cortisol levels, but they won’t have a significant impact on their own.

The best way to lower stress is with a whole-body approach, which includes regular exercise, adequate sleep, and managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, all of which can create long-term inflammation in the body.

When we make smart food choices, we can help our bodies, even when we can’t control our genes or our environment to some extent.

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