Tuesday, September 20, 2022

What Foods Help With Stress

What Is Stress Really

7 Amazing Stress-Busting Foods to Help with Anxiety!

When were stressed out, the body releases a hormone called cortisol. Nicknamed the stress hormone, cortisol acts as a quick jolt of energy that helps the body cope with a given stressor, primarily by reducing inflammation and regulating blood pressure. But like most things in life, its possible to have too much of a good thing. Too much cortisol in the bodythe product of ongoing stressharms rather than helps, as it increases inflammation and raises blood pressure, making stress feel even more intense and consuming.

Alleviating stress is often a multilayered effortlike ensuring youre getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and investing in healthy relationships. But one of the most useful tools for recovering from stress can be found in a surprising place: the kitchen.

Food can be a powerful antidote for stress. While some foods can help the body flush out extra cortisol, others can boost the so-called happy chemicals in the brainserotonin and dopamineand restore equilibrium in the body and mind.

Here are the top ten foods that can help you relieve stress and cultivate calm.

Eat Foods High In Phosphorus

The mineral phosphorus is found in most foods, but eating foods especially high in phosphorus has been shown to be beneficial for people dealing with anxiety. Phosphorus is also helpful in strengthening bones and teeth, repairing muscle, improving brain function and help with water retention.

Eat more of these phosphorus-rich foods:

  • Salmon

Foods To Help You Stress Less

story by D of Milk & Honey Nutrition

Stress. We all fall victim at some point. Whether youre overwhelmed from saying yes to too many things, or just experiencing some intense changes in your life the way we feel and react to situations can get pretty sticky.

Sure, weve all heard about this idea that good stress exists and helps motivate and spur us to action. But, while this is definitely true, the stress we are usually referring to when we talk about being stressed out isnt the good kind. Its the kind that can lead you to forget things, feel anxious, yell at your kids, be short-tempered with your spouse, and a whole host of other negative behaviors.

As a stay-at-home mom, running my own business can definitely stress me out! There are days when I catch myself reacting to situations in ways that Im not very proud of.

I try to always take a step back and ask myself, Did that situation really warrant that reaction? Usually, the answer is no. In fact, most often, I have to look at myself as the cause especially when it comes to my kids. Why did I react that way? Sure, maybe they disobeyed, or did something they werent supposed to but if I hadnt already been on edge from being stressed out, I likely would have reacted a different way. Was I hungry? Tired? Anxious? Any of these could be true.

Read Also: Is Stress Bad For Ms

Brain Foods That Help Depression And Anxiety

  • Eat Your Way Out Of Depression
  • When youre in deep depression or anxiety, getting the right foods may be the last thing on your mind. Or you may be eating yourself deeper into depression with the wrong types of food without even knowing it.

    According toDrAxe, your body would naturally crave for foods that are high in carbohydrate, fats or sugar as a response to the stress you are going through.

    While you may satisfy your food craving, the choice of food that you take could aggravate your stress level which leads to a prolonged state of depression and anxiety.

    Foods For Stress Relief


    We all feel wrung out sometimes by the stress of daily life and, unfortunately, we tend to reach for junk food. But high-calorie or sugary foods only trick us into thinking we feel better. Eating healthy food can actually offer some real stress relief. End the cycle of turning to foods when you’re stressed and find relief elsewhere. Instead, add these truly anti-stress foods to your diet.

    Pictured Recipe: Tropical Snack Mix

    Stress depletes our B vitamin stores and snacking on nuts helps replenish them. “B vitamins keep our neurotransmitters in their happy place and help us handle the fight-or-flight stress response,” says Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., R.D., a psychologist in Burlington, Vermont, and founder of smashyourscale.com. The potassium in nuts is also key: Penn State researchers found that a couple servings of potassium-packed pistachios a day can lower blood pressure and reduce the strain stress puts on our heart.

    Don’t Miss: How To Manage Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Probiotics Can Create A Healthy Gut Microbiota Helping You Manage Stress

    The best way to support healthy gut hormones is with good-for-you bacteria called probiotics, Figueroa says. According to Harvard Health Publishing, probiotics can help boost the immune system, protect against harmful bacteria, and improve digestion and absorption of nutrients. An article published in December 2018 in University Health News cited several studies that found gut health has a direct correlation to improving anxiety, depression, and mood. One way is that gut bacteria can produce molecules with neuroactive functions, including serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid , which positively influence mood.

    Probiotics can be available in supplement form, but its unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pills can be more expensive than their food form, Figueroa says. Some of the top-rated brands run for more than $40 for a months supply, for instance.

    Fortunately, probiotics occur naturally in food, too, and appear to be slightly better than the pill form, though both are efficient carriers for good bacteria, according to a study published in August 2014 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

    Figueroas favorite is kefir, a fermented yogurt drink, which is available in both dairy and vegan forms. She also recommends yogurt and fermented foods, including kombucha and miso, a Japanese fermented bean paste that can be found in miso soup.

    Manage Stress & Anxiety With These Foods

    In my private client work, I find that most people have no idea how good they could feel if they only ate healthier. Usually, people mention to me that they are thinking clearer and sleeping better before they notice any sort of weight loss. This is always a great sign that someone is getting their nutrition house in order.

    Usually, though, it’s not the good stuff people are eating that drags them down. Everyone knows the basic benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water.

    It’s the bad stuff we need to avoid that creeps up on us and makes us feel miserable a lot faster than all the good stuff. The cards are definitely stacked with an unfair advantage toward unhealthy foods having a greater effect on our body than healthy food.

    For example, after you eat a great, healthy meal loaded with nutrients and all the right foods, you may or may not notice how good those foods are food your body. A big green salad with some olive oil is good for your heart and reduces inflammation, but your body isn’t going to give you a report card after you finish that meal. Only after you eat like this consistently for days or weeks will your body let you know that it’s doing good.

    Eating the right foods helps to control weight, yes, but also improve mood, quality of sleep, digestion, inflammation and so much more!

    Also Check: Does Stress Make You Tired

    Magnesium Sources In Food

    According to Williams, low magnesium levels are associated with an increased likelihood of both anxiety and depression. By increasing magnesium intake, she says, we can help ease the symptoms of anxiety.

    Pumpkin seedsPumpkin seed kernels are one of the best natural sources of magnesium. With 74 mg in just one ounce, this super seed is a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fat.

    SpinachWith 24 mg of magnesium per one raw cup, this low-calorie, nutrient dense leafy green is versatile enough to use in a sweet breakfast smoothie or a savory side dish.

    Dark chocolateA one-ounce square of dark chocolate provides 15% of your daily recommendation for magnesium, says Horton. The key is to choose dark chocolate that is a minimum 70% cacao.

    The Best Foods To Relieve Stress

    What Foods Help Relieve Stress

    The foods you eat may make a difference in your stress level. While some may be beneficial, others may not work to reduce stress.

    There are many ways to manage stress and reduce its effects, including self-care, deep breathing techniques, or meditation. Plus, diet and nutrition may also affect your stress levels.

    While eating certain types of food may help diminish stress levels, consuming others may keep stress at its peak.

    Read Also: How To Cure Chronic Stress Naturally

    Foods High In Fat And Sugar

    Cravings for processed and sugary foods may be heightened when you are feeling stressed, but it is important to avoid consuming these in high quantities. Not only can they be detrimental to your overall health, but they can also make you feel worse in the long-term. Sugar, for example, will provide a short burst of energy and temporary relief from stressful feelings, but this will be swiftly followed by a ‘low’ period when your blood sugar levels crash. This can lead to irritability and increased food cravings, which can put a strain on the body.

    According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, high consumption of processed fats can increase the risk of depression. Researchers found that people with diets high in processed fats had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate whole foods. Furthermore, processed foods contain high levels of hydrogenated or oxidised fats which can block the production of essential fats needed to protect the cell membrane and nerve health.

    Fish Can Boost Your Heart Health While Fending Off Stress

    Fight stress and help prevent heart disease by adding seafood to your plate. Fatty fish in particular are a great option because theyre heart-healthy, and their omega-3s may help ease depression because the nutrients easily interact with mood-related brain molecules, according to the Harvard Health Blog. Fatty fish include tuna, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout, according to the American Heart Association.

    Not a fish fan? There are other whole-food options, like seaweed, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and fortified food, such as certain brands of eggs, milk, soy milk, and nut milk. You can also try omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil, which can be found at your local drugstore or grocery store. The Harvard Health Blog noted theyre tied to a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

    Figueroa says fish oil is fine if youre not eating a balanced diet that is rich in omega-3s and includes eating fish at least twice a week. But she cautions that its important to check with your doctor or registered dietitian before beginning a supplement routine, so you can figure out the best brand and dosage for your health goals.

    Also Check: Can Stress Cause Hair Thinning

    Controlling Anxiety With Food

    All of the above foods are beneficial for dealing with your anxiety. They provide vitamins and nutrients that are known to calm the mind and body while also increasing energy and stabilizing your mood. Combine those foods with a balanced diet that is free of fried foods and harmful ingredients and you should see a marked difference in your anxiety levels.

    Still, it’s important to remember that understanding your anxiety is still step one. I’ve helped thousands of people learn to deal with their anxiety and I always recommend they start with my anxiety test I created specifically to provide a snapshot of your current anxiety. This test will help you:

    • Find out what symptoms you experience are caused by anxiety .
    • Understand the core components of your anxiety experience .
    • Provide the next steps for overcoming anxiety.

    Foods for anxiety are a great first step, but they’re only a first step. Take my anxiety test, and learn what it takes to cure anxiety once and for all.

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    Dark Leafy Greens And Cruciferous Veggies

    21 Foods to Reduce Stress

    The next time youre planning to knock the leafy greens from your plate, think again!

    Dark cruciferous veggies are highly influential in our bodys immune and detoxification systems. In fact, not getting enough fruits and vegetables in your daily diet can increase your risk of anxiety disorders. Adequate levels of folate and various B-vitamins that are abundant in dark veggies are key for neurotransmitter regulation, thus supporting a stress-free body and mind.

    We work with many people, active individuals in particular, who experience heightened stress from pushing hard in the gym hours and days at a timeSo, these inflammation-fighting foods are imperative for fighting stress and maximizing recovery. Also, if fighting inflammation is a top priority to you, be sure to check out our article on the 7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Supplements.

    Sometimes we even work with individuals who have mutations in their detoxification genes, such as MTHFR. For this reason, cruciferous vegetables are even more imperative to have in the diet to support proper methylation of b-vitamins and folate.

    These key nutrients are a few of the many involved in regulating normal levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain!

    Try these cruciferous veggies for the best leg up on reducing stress and anxiety!

    • Kale: Chop into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and roast at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes for some delicious and nutritious kale chips!

    Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause You To Spit Up Blood

    Foods That Support Lower Anxiety

    In addition to seeing a physician or seeking the help of a mental health professional, there are many practices that we can include in our daily lives that can also support reducing the risk of developing anxiety or the severity of symptoms.

    We need to have proper nourishment to set our bodies up for good physical and mental health, says Dr. Leslie. She recommends that her patients eat mindfully to fuel their body.

    Registered dietitians Brierley Horton and Carolyn Williams are co-hosts of The Happy Eating Podcast, a show focused on the connection between food and mental wellness, and both agree that whole foods rich in the following are essential to reducing anxiety through nutrition:

    • Magnesium
    • Probiotics
    • Antioxidants

    Below, we highlight the best sources of these nutrients, as well as foods to limit if you’re trying to reduce anxiety.

    Vitamin D Sources In Food

    Vitamin D is a key component in promoting mental health. Research shows that in groups that received vitamin D supplementation, anxiety levels were significantly lower than in the control groups.

    EggsOn top of being an excellent source of lean protein, eggs provide a good source of vitamin D. You can boost that vitamin D content by consuming eggs that come from pasture-raised chickens. Eggs are also high in choline, which, Williams notes, is a component of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter involved in memory and mood low choline levels are associated with higher anxiety levels.

    MushroomsMushrooms that have been exposed to lighteither growing naturally outdoors or by being exposed to UV lightare one of the only plant-based sources of vitamin D.

    Read Also: How To Bring Stress Levels Down

    Top 10 Foods For Stress Relief

    Eat your way to a more relaxed state — and no, we don’t mean pigging out on high-calorie junk food. While there isn’t a cure-all food to magically erase frustration, you can get some stress relief with a combo of exercising, eating small meals throughout the day and getting more of these 10 fresh goodies.

    1. Whole-Wheat Pretzels

    Eating carbohydrate-rich foods gives you an energy boost and triggers the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin. Opting for a whole-grain snack provides extra fiber, too.

    2. Carrots

    Munching on crunchy foods also helps beat stress. Nutrient-rich carrots, celery and other crunchy, fresh veggies offer satisfying crispness but won’t bog you down with too many calories.

    3. Tea

    Calm frazzled nerves with a steaming cup of your favorite tea blend. The soothing warmth and tea’s plant compounds work together to level off your body’s response to stress. Both herbal and black tea can help.

    4. Nuts

    Stress runs you down, which leaves you open to sickness. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts are high in the antioxidant vitamin E and zinc — both good for boosting your immune system. Bonus: Those nuts are good sources of B-vitamins, which help the body manage stress, too. Since nuts are high in fat, stick to a 1/4-cup portions.

    5. Swiss Chard6. Yogurt7. ChocolateRead more about the health benefits of chocolate.8. Milk9. Banana and Avocado10. Fatty Fish

    Eat Well And Eat Consistently

    Can eating certain foods help reduce stress?

    If youre hoping to reduce stress, keep in mind this one key piece of advice: Dont skip meals. Eating on a regular schedule every three to five hours helps balance your blood sugar levels. Being in a chronic state of low blood sugar is stressful on your body and can increase cortisol, so maintaining a balanced blood sugar can go a long way.

    And tempting though it may be, dont turn to supplements to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.

    We know what impact nutrition has on your body, whereas supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, Barth says. I always tell people: Go with food first.

    Also Check: How To Not Stress About Everything

    When To See A Doctor For Anxiety

    If experiencing anxiety and stress, it is always best to seek out a specialist, such as a psychologist.

    Sometimes, a doctor or psychologist may recommend talking therapy or CBT to manage anxiety and stress. They may also prescribe medications, such as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors , selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , or benzodiazepines.

    People should follow the doctor√Ęs instructions when using these drugs, as they can have severe and possibly life threatening adverse effects.

    Foods That Help Depression And Anxiety Have These In Common

    The whole concept of fighting depression and anxiety with foods is to consume foods that balance your neurotransmitter. The neurotransmitter is a brain chemical that enables the flow of information between approximately 86 billion neurons. It is crucial in regulating emotions, appetite, sleep, energy and other functions in the body.

    The best foods to take when youre feeling depressed often contained one or more of these.

    Read Also: Can Depression Be Triggered By Stress

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