When you’re feeling tense, there are several ways to manage and even reduce your stress levels. Food may be one of your strongest allies – or one of your worst enemies. It can cause your stress levels to rise or fall. So it’s essential to pay attention to what you eat when you’re stressed. Not to mention, stress might boost your need for certain nutrients. These include vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium, according to a review published in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences in June 2016. Research published in the journal Stress in August 2015 showed that the amount and quality of foods you consume over time could impact the body’s brain circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. There are many foods to relieve stress that anybody can use, according to Figueroa. There is no need for costly supplements or complicated procedures.
Unhealthy eating habits can increase your stress levels. This may even increase your risk of future health problems if you do not address them. A well-balanced and nutritious diet was likely the single most important ingredient for optimal health.
So, the next time you’re under stress, prepare yourself with this list of 8 Fantastic Foods to Relieve Stress That You Must Try:
8 Fantastic Foods to Relieve stress
1. Sweet potatoes
Consuming full, nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes may help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Despite the fact that cortisol levels are tightly controlled, chronic stress can produce cortisol dysfunction. This can lead to inflammation, pain, and other negative effects.
An 8-week study of women with excess weight or obesity discovered that those who ate a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense carbohydrates had significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol.
Sweet potatoes are a whole food that is a good carbohydrate source. They are high in nutrients that help in stress response, such as vitamin C and potassium.
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish prepared from napa cabbage and daikon, a type of radish. Fermented foods, such as kimchi, are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and helpful bacteria.
Fermented foods may help lower stress and anxiety, according to research. In one research of 710 young people, for example, those who ate fermented foods more regularly reported fewer feelings of social anxiety.
Additional research has found that probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi are helpful to mental health. This is most likely because of their interactions with your gut bacteria, which directly impact your mood.
3. Organ meats
Organ meats, including the hearts, livers, and kidneys of animals such as cows and chickens, are high in:
- B vitamins, especially B12, B6
- And folate
B vitamins, for example, are required for the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters help to regulate mood.
You can reduce stress by taking B vitamins or eating foods like organ meats. A meta-analysis of 18 adult studies revealed that B vitamin supplements reduced stress and improved mood significantly.
1 slice (85 grams) of beef liver contains:
- More than 2,000% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin B12
- Riboflavin: more than 200 percent of DV
- For vitamin B6 and folate, more than half of the Daily Value (DV)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are well-known for their health benefits. A high-cruciferous-vegetable diet may lower the risk of:
- Some cancers
- Heart disease
- Mental health issues such as depression
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, are high in some nutrients that have been shown to help with depression symptoms, such as magnesium, vitamin C, and folate.
Broccoli also contains sulforaphane. It is a sulfur compound with neuroprotective benefits as well as calming and antidepressant effects.
Moreover, 1 cup (184 grams) of cooked broccoli contains more than 20% of the DV for vitamin B6. Higher consumption of these can decrease the risk of anxiety and depression in women.
5. Matcha powder
Because it includes L-theanine, this vibrant green tea powder is popular among health buffs. L-theanine is a non-protein amino acid with significant stress-relieving properties.
As matcha is made from shade-grown green tea leaves, it has more of this amino acid than other varieties of green tea. This process raises the number of certain compounds, such as L-theanine.
Matcha may lower stress in both human and animal tests if its L-theanine content is high enough and its caffeine level is low.
In a 15-day study, 36 participants ate cookies containing 4.5 grams of matcha powder per day. They had significantly lower levels of the stress marker salivary alpha-amylase in comparison to a placebo group.
6. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolates are nothing short of a delicacy, driving our taste buds into a frenzy. However, dark chocolate has other benefits. These include decreasing stress hormone levels and improving other stress-related biochemical imbalances. Our body needs a healthy amount of antioxidants, and the antioxidants in chocolate come in flavonoids. Moreover, dark chocolate contains the highest level of flavonoids. Chocolates can also help improve one’s mood. Chocolates are great aphrodisiacs, also known as ‘love chemical,’ which is a mood stimulant and booster.
They contain phenethylamine. It is a natural ingredient produced in the brain during positive emotions like falling in love.
Shellfish, such as mussels, clams, and oysters, contain significant levels of amino acids such as taurine. It has been researched for its potential mood-boosting effects.
Taurine and other amino acids are required to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine. These are necessary for the control of stress response. Research suggests that taurine may have antidepressant properties.
Vitamin B12, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium are all plentiful in shellfish. These may help in mood enhancement.
Research of 2,089 Japanese individuals found that low zinc, copper, and manganese consumption was related to depression and anxiety symptoms.
Chickpeas are high in anti-stress vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, manganese, and copper.
These delicious legumes are also high in L-tryptophan. Your body requires it to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
According to research, diets high in plant proteins, such as chickpeas, may help boost brain health and mental function.
A study of nearly 9,000 people found that individuals who ate a Mediterranean diet rich in plant foods like legumes had better moods and less stress than people who ate a typical Western diet high in processed foods.
The bottom line
We mentioned above numerous foods to relieve stress and which can help in stress reduction.
Matcha powder, fatty salmon, kimchi, garlic, chamomile tea, and broccoli are just a few examples of foods to relieve stress.
To naturally encourage stress reduction, try incorporating some of these foods and beverages into your diet.