Friday, September 15, 2023

What To Eat To Relieve Stress

Consider A Multivitamin Or B Complex

How to Eat to Reduce Stress

Chronically-stressed people have been found to have lower levels of nutrients in their body and the extent of these deficiencies was related to the severity and duration of stress.

Taking a multivitamin has been shown to reduce perceived stress, anxiety and fatigue in study participants. Researchers speculate B vitamins are responsible.

Focus On High Fibre Carbs

Studies show that when stress-prone individuals are subjected to stress, they fare better eating a high carbohydrate diet versus one that’s high in protein. Eating more carbs increased serotonin , reduced stress hormones, improved mental performance and enhanced mood.

When under stress, make whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables the focus of your meals rather than meat and poultry. High in fibre, these foods also help keep your appetite in check and blood sugar stable.

Stay Up To Date On What Healthy Means Now

Eating whole grains is beneficial when youre feeling stressed, says Jodi Greebel, MS, RDN, founder of Citrition, LLC, in New York. Aside from being more nutritious, these foods have added benefits, she notes.

When people are stressed, the balance of serotonin in the brain can be off, explains Greebel. Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread, and other complex carbs, such as starchy veggies and legumes, can combat stress by releasing happy hormones in the brain. They can also release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is thought to benefit both happiness and wellness, says Greebel. Eating complex carbs helps increase serotonin, whereas eating refined carbs like bagels, cookies, and white bread has the opposite effect, she says.

Its human nature to want to eat those foods when were stressed, adds Greebel, but they only exacerbate stress rather than combat it. Then we feel guilty for eating them, which also exacerbates stress, she says. If youre going to have a junky snack, even whole-grain tortilla chips will help to combat the stress that youre feeling.

If youre low-carbing it, fatty fish is also thought to help increase serotonin. Similarly, a study out of Montreal found that tryptophan decreased quarrelsome behaviors, increased agreeable behaviors, and improved overall mood. You can find tryptophan in poultry, eggs, and nuts.

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Can Eating Help Relieve Stress

When you stress out, sometimes you turn to food. Pizza, ice cream, mac, and cheesetraditional comfort foods often come first when you try to reduce anxiety levels in your everyday life. Unfortunately, these high-fat options can make you more tired and less capable of dealing with stress. High anxiety can drive up blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart attack. So, eating to reduce stress as we know it seems dangerous and counterproductive.

But there are healthy ways to eat to relieve stress. Eating nutritiously can be an effective defense against anxiety. By following a diet low in fat and high in fiber, with lots of fruits and vegetables, you can get the vitamins and nutrients you need and potentially reduce your stress levels.

Crucial Foods To Avoid

Foods to reduce stress

There are foods that help anxiety, but just as important is making sure that you’re not eating foods that contribute to anxiety. Examples of these types of foods include fried foods, high glycemic carbs, refined sugars, and alcoholic beverages.

Other foods depend on how much you understand you own anxiety. If you have panic attacks, you may want to avoid coffee, because coffee can increase your heart rate and trigger an attack. But if you have more general anxiety, coffee may actually be beneficial. Many find that caffeine , can actually reduce stress and improve mood.

Also Check: How To Deal With Stress Anxiety

Blood Sugar And Stress Explained

When we eat foods that contain refined carbohydrates , it causes a big and sudden increase in blood sugar. In the short term, this can stimulate release of endorphins – so-called ‘feel-good’ hormones. But the effect is short-lived.

When our blood sugar suddenly becomes high, it causes a lot of the hormone insulin to be released – which allows our cells to use sugar for energy. This process very quickly brings our blood sugar right back down, sometimes to a lower level then it was before we ate.

This can have a big impact on our mood. When levels of sugar are too high it can make us feel unable to concentrate and anxious. Then when blood sugar levels suddenly drop it often makes people feel low in mood and energy.

Youre Never Too Busy For Good Nutrition

As we get busy and stressed, we tend to make poor nutritional choices that can actually increase our stress levels and cause other problems. We may do this because we’re in a hurry and it’s easier to grab pre-packaged food that may be less healthy, Or we may do this because we crave less healthy food when we’re stressed. We may get so busy we forget to eat or skip meals, filling them in with unhealthy snack foods.

Whatever the reason, when we eat an unhealthy diet, we may experience short-term and long-term consequences. We may feel less energetic, and this lack of energy can affect our productivity and stress levels. We may be less able to fight off sickness, and this poor health can affect our quality of life and our stress levels. We may be short-tempered or overly-emotional, and this can affect our relationships and our stress levels. If you’ve noticed a pattern, this is because nutrition can affect stress levels in so many ways.

Here are tips for getting good nutrition and maintaining a more healthy diet, even under stress. After a few weeks, theyll become habit and you wont even have to think about good nutrition. And your bodynot to mention your stress levelwill feel the difference!

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Citrus Fruits And Strawberries Contain Vitamin C Which Help Fight Stress

Some studies have found that high levels of vitamin C may help ease stress levels. One double-blind study, published January 2015 in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, reported that vitamin C reduced stress levels in participants taking 500 mg per day, and also pointed to possible anxiety prevention. Another study, published in November 2013 in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, looked at vitamin C and vitamin E and found a significant decrease in anxiety levels in the vitamin C group compared with other groups. Eating fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries is a good place to start.

Eat To Beat Stress: 10 Foods That Reduce Anxiety

How should I eat to help reduce stress?

Heres some good news to keep in mind the next time youre stressed out: Eating may help you stay calm.

But heres the thing: Were not talking about stuffing yourself with your typical go-to comfort food. Mac and cheese or fries will only leave you feeling guilty and even more anxious.

Instead, feed your face with one of these 10 superfoods to feel at ease fast.

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Foods To Eat When You’re Totally Stressed Out

When work deadlines begin piling up and your social calendar is booked, the last thing you want to hear is to steer clear of the vending machine. Who has time for healthy eating? But when it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat may actually help relieve your tension. Indeed, some foods may help stabilize blood sugar or, better yet, your emotional response. Here, 12 foods to reach for when you’ve just about had enough.

Green leafy vegetables.

It’s tempting to reach for a cheeseburger when stressed, but go green at lunch instead. “Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical, helping you keep calm,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A 2012 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders of 2,800 middle-aged and elderly people and found those who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression symptoms than those who took in the least. And, a 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier and more energetic on days they ate more fruits and veggies. It can be hard to tell which came first — upbeat thoughts or healthy eating — but the researchers found that healthy eating seemed to predict a positive mood the next day.




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Can You Eat To Relieve Stress

In this fast paced world, everyone has some sort of stress. According to the National Institute of Health , 31% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is finding ways to manage stress, and part of stress management includes exercising and choosing the right foods. Below are 10 ways to help manage and relieve stress.

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Best And Worst Foods For Stress

Although you tend to eat well and exercise often, are you finding that you still can’t seem to shake off the weight? Look to your stress triggers. A poor diet, busy life, and a demanding job can contribute to chronic stress levels, which can prevent you from losing weightand may even add on the pounds. So what’s the connection between stress and your muffin top?

Here’s the deal: Back when humans had to evade predators, we developed a fight-or-flight response to help alert our body to a danger. When we’re stressedwhether it’s because we’re being chased by a mammoth or a fast-approaching project deadlineour body releases a group of hormones called glucocorticoids, whose job is to replenish the energy supply lost during the stressful encounter by revving sugar cravings and increasing fat stores. That way, your body ensures it has enough energy in case another lion crosses your path.

As a result, you get really hungry, really quickly. And you end up craving sweet and high-fat foods which both stimulate the brain to release pleasure hormones to reduce tension as well as provide a quick jolt of replenishing energy. The nail in the coffin? These high-calorie, high-fat foods not only contribute to overeating and subsequent weight gain, but they can even make your stress even worse.

Controlling Anxiety With Food

12 Best Foods to Eat for Stress Relief in 2020

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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Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety

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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.

Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.

It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.

The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .

There are a few reasons behind this:

  • Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
  • Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
  • Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
  • Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.

Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.

Spend Time With Friends And Family

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.

Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.

One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .

Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.

Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .


Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.

Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:

  • Relieving your stress response.
  • Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.

In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (

Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.


Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.

Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.

One way to do this may be to say no more often.

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Foods For Stress: Dietary Recommendations To Deal With Stress

Believe it or not, food is actually a great stress buster, and is a stress inducer. Why you may ask? Comfort food or your favourite food items surely cheer you up when you are having a difficult day. Similarly, following diets that are restrictive in nature make you irritable, have mood swings and even low on mood. Thus, food has a lot to do when it comes to controlling your stress and how you react to a stressful situation.

Foods that can reduce stress needn’t necessarily be foods that are tagged as healthy by the food industry – avocado, quinoa, oats, zucchini, Greek yogurt – to name a few. Naturally available, simple home-cooked food can also do wonders in terms of reducing your stress. Read further to know about them.

Also read: Suffering From High Blood Pressure? Don’t Take Work Stress Lightly

Foods That Help Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Natural Foods To Relieve Stress

While there is no specific diet that can cure stress and anxiety, there are some foods that may help. Here are some foods worth trying to help improve your well-being:

A Mediterranean-type diet high in omega-3 fatty acid

Consuming omega-3 rich foods along with supplemental fish oil may reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. Such foods include:

  • Fish: salmon, tuna and sardines
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds
  • Avocados
Foods high in vitamins A, C and E

Foods high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene , vitamin C and vitamin E can help prevent cell damage to the brain. Such foods include:

  • Vegetables: asparagus, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and leafy greens like spinach and kale
  • Fruits: strawberries, citrus fruits, papaya, cantaloupe and apricots
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds and sunflower seeds
Foods high in vitamin B

Several studies have linked high doses of vitamin B with reduced symptoms of stress. Foods rich in vitamin B can also aid in heart and brain function. Such foods include:

  • Lean proteins: chicken, fish, eggs and turkey
  • Fortified cereals

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Probiotics = Good Gut Feelings

Were far from understanding the totality of the gut-brain connection the pathway of chemicals that allow the brain and digestive system to communicate. But we do know that stress can have immediate effects on hunger and fullness.

Some people react to stress by eating, while others find it almost impossible to eat in times of stress. But while having, say, your bathroom loaded with bacteria would surely be stressful, the opposite occurs in the gut.

A healthy microbiome is thought to enhance the gut-brain connection. The best way to ensure a vibrant microbiome is to eat a variety of foods, but probiotics can help as well, so yogurts are thought to have stress-busting qualities.

Carbo Loading For Mental Health

Eating carbohydrates makes you feel better no matter how many low-carb diets try to convince people otherwise, thats an actual scientific fact. As mentioned above, carbs cause secretion of insulin, which alters the plasma tryptophan ratio and leads to greater serotonin production in the brain.

But since stress tends to increase blood sugar anyway, you might want to lean toward complex carbs that wont make the spike worse. So, in these events, a snack of oatmeal might be more stress relieving than, say, a bag of M& Ms.

But dont rule out chocolate altogether some studies have suggested that chocolate can trigger a feeling similar to being in love. Were not sure thats true, but it definitely causes the blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood circulation overall.

Also Check: How Do I Stress Less

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