Constant work under pressure or dealing with difficult situations at home can induce stress and anxiety. What many people don’t know is that foods you eat have a significant impact on your stress and anxiety. Foods can either relive these conditions or aggravate them. To reduce anxiety and stress with the help of nutrition, you should make sure you eat healthy foods and avoid heavily processed, sugary foods or foods rich in trans-fats. Keep reading this article and find out what 5 foods can reduce your stress effectively.
Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and belongs to the group of the healthiest foods you can eat. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the proper function of our organism and improvement of our overall health. Additionally, these acids have a beneficial effect on our brain functions as well. Therefore, it is no surprise that Omega 3 fatty acids relieve stress and anxiety just as effectively. For example, Brain Behavior and Immunity published results of the study that revealed, students who took Omega 3 fatty acids had a decreased level of anxiety by 20%. One of the previous researches showed that Omega 3 fats are just as effective in relieving stress as antidepressants, only without unwanted side effects of course.
You can also get a high level of Omega 3’s from sardines, anchovies, mackerel, or in supplement form such as krill oil.
Top Health Benefits of Omega 3 You Should Not Miss:
Blueberries contain a compound called anthocyanins which is actually, a pigment that gives them their beautiful color. Also, blueberries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like antioxidants that fight free radicals in our body and protect us from various diseases. These antioxidants also help our brain produce dopamine which is a chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function, and your mood as well. According to Cynthia Sass, MPH RD, contributor to TIME Health researches shows that people who eat blueberries experience a boost in natural killer cells. These cells are the type of white blood cells that play crucial role immunity, critical for countering stress.
Numerous experts believe peaches also belong to this category due to the fact they contain many nutrients which produce calming effects.
- Dark chocolate
This is an excellent news for all people who love to munch on chocolate. Naturally, instead of purchasing regular chocolate bar, you should opt for dark chocolate which contains at least 60 to 70% of cocoa. The immediate mood boost you feel when you eat chocolate occurs due to a chemical called anandamide which is a neurotransmitter produced in our brain whose primary purpose is to block feelings of pain and depression. The great advantage of dark chocolate is the ability to produce this compound as well as some other chemicals that prolong the effects of anandamide.
In modern medicine, dark chocolate is characterized as the new anti-anxiety drug. Also, Journal of Psychopharmacology published results of the study which revealed that participants who were drinking antioxidant-rich chocolate drink (about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate) felt calmer than participants who didn’t.
- Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, are rich in folate which aides our body in producing mood-calming neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Journal of Affective Disorders published findings of the study which showed that people who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of getting depression than people who didn’t. Moreover, research conducted at the University of Otago found that eating fruits and vegetables of any type helped participants feel calm, which is another reason you should strive to eat healthy foods and follow a healthy lifestyle all times.
Avocados provide our body with about 20 health-boosting nutrients such as Vitamin E, potassium, folate, other vitamins, and many other healthy components that are much-needed for our overall health. For example, Nutrition Journal published findings of a research which revealed that eating at least one-half of avocado for lunch will make you feel full and aide in weight loss if you are overweight. The same study also discovered that avocados regulate blood sugar levels too. The combination of satiety and regulating blood sugar helps to keep your mood steady, even in stressful situations.
Other foods that reduce stress and anxiety
- Organic turkey breast
- Fermented foods
- Organic pistachios
- Acai berries
Foods that aggravate stress and anxiety
- Processed foods.
Instead of trying to take medications to reduce stress and anxiety you should first give a chance to certain foods that will help you deal with this situation and see how that will work out. There is a wide range of healthy foods that contain compounds which successfully relieve stress and anxiety. It is important to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as often as you can and make sure you eat salmon or other Omega 3 fatty acids rich foods at least two or three times a week.