Don’t let stress get the better of you! With everything going on in the world today, it’s normal to feel anxious and stressed, to worry more than you used to. But if you let that stress and anxiety persist, your health will end up suffering. Instead, try these simple foods to reduce stress and anxiety the natural, delicious way:
Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is needed by your brain to produce the feel-good chemical serotonin. Serotonin is known to regulate your hunger hormones, but also your feelings of wellbeing and happiness. You’ll find yourself feeling more agreeable, less stressed, and generally more content thanks to the high tryptophan content of turkey breast.
It may sound odd, but it’s absolutely true that yogurt can help to reduce stress! Probiotic-rich yogurts can help to balance your gut bacteria, which in turn can have a direct effect on both your body’s responses to stress and your brain’s neurochemical balance. It can help to soothe any gastrointestinal distress resulting from your stress and help your body feel better overall.
Blueberries contain a lot of important antioxidants that can help your body to respond better to stress and anxiety. Not only will they help to reduce stress-related inflammation, but they can actually help your body produce more of the white blood cells that counteract stress-triggered immune problems. Plus, the little sugar boost will do wonders to boost your mood and make you feel happier!
Dark, Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, chard, and other dark leafy greens contain folate, a nutrient that your brain needs in order to produce dopamine. Dopamine is one of the neurochemicals that help you feel happy, and eating more folate will help to increase production of this pleasure-inducing brain chemical. Not only can it help to decrease your risk of depression as a result of your anxiety and stress, but it will actually make you feel more upbeat and raise your mood.
The nuts themselves are loaded with vital nutrients, but it’s actually the act of cracking open the shells and scooping out the nuts that will benefit you most. The simple repetition of the act works to calm your mind and gives you something anxiety-free to focus on, and it becomes a relaxing activity that will take your mind off your stress.
Oats are an amazing source of carbohydrates, specifically the complex carbs that helps your brain to produce more serotonin. They won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels (which can trigger your body to produce insulin, which lowers blood sugar below normal levels and can cause a mood and energy crash), but they will help to raise your serotonin levels so you naturally feel better after eating a bowl of oatmeal.
Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that will help to counteract the low-grade inflammation caused by stress and anxiety. Omega-3s can also reduce anxiety’s effects on the brain, helping you to feel more relaxed and at ease after eating a plate of salmon.
As if you needed an excuse! Dark chocolate can help to regulate the levels of stress hormones, including cortisol, thanks to its high antioxidant content. Any chocolate over 70% cacao will be rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help to relax your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure, and improve circulation. There are also natural substances in dark chocolate that will trigger a euphoric feeling similar to the feelings you get in romance. It’s definitely a tasty way to raise your mood today!