A well-balanced and nutritious diet is likely to take the lead in being the single most important ingredient for good health. Certain foods have the power to enhance your body's ability to combat stress and are packed with essential nutrients needed to boost your mental state. Just being stressed can increase your need for certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium, among others. Foods that are high in fibre, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, veggies, and citrus fruit allow your body to release stress-fighting hormones at a steadier rate and keep your moods balanced and under control.
7 Stress-Busting Foods
A healthy and balanced diet can help you counter the impact of anxiety by lowering blood pressure and boosting your immunity in turn. Try incorporating some of the following foods into your regular diet to help curtail stress naturally and feel more grounded.
This comfort food is a natural stress reliever that is known to keep your blood sugar steady and reduce the level of stress hormones in the brain. Oatmeal helps to relieve anxiety and stress by releasing the chemical serotonin that sends signals between your nerve cells. This in turn increases relaxation, calmness, and creativity. You can give a healthy and sweet twist to your oatmeal by adding some apples and raisins and a pinch of cinnamon instead of refined sugar.
Asparagus is known to reduce depression and anxiety by stabilizing your mood. This spring-time vegetable is not only a powerhouse of iron, it is also high in folate, one of the many B vitamins which helps stabilize your mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can eat it fresh, grilled, steamed, or sauté it with some olive oil and fresh Italian herbs.
Flaxseed, walnuts, almonds, and spinach are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The oil present in these helps keep the stress hormone cortisol under control and regulates the adrenaline levels. Eating these whole nuts also helps protect against heart disease, stroke, and depression, and may assist in lowering blood pressure. Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production and can make you feel less frazzled.
Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants and fiber and are loaded with high amounts of Vitamin C which makes them great stress-fighting food. You can eat them raw or enjoy them mixed in a smoothie.
5. Dark chocolate
This treat not only satiates your sweet cravings but also helps relieve stress by reducing the level of cortisol in the body. Dark chocolate is made from the cacao plant, which contains antioxidants that help lower the chances of heart disease and stress-induced problems.
6. Herbal Tea
A cup of chamomile or jasmine tea in the morning acts as a stress-soothing drink that helps calm stomach distress and relieve migraine-type headaches. Thanks to its wonderful sedative and muscle relaxing properties, Chamomile tea also lowers stress. You can add it to your bedtime ritual; sip a cup before bed and peacefully drift off for a goodnight's sleep.
7. Root Vegetables
Vegetables like sweet potatoes, radish, and carrots are a good source of vitamins, fiber, and carbohydrates, which can help to boost serotonin production. Their subtle sweetness can even offset sugar cravings sometimes. They are also good for your blood pressure and your heart rate.
Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives. What's important is to make good choices about the foods you eat that will give your body the essential nutrients to keep you staying healthy and functioning at its best.