Most of us turn to food when we feel stressed, but did you know that some types of food are more effective than others?
We engage in stress eating and guilty pleasures or even binge-eating – but it will be far more helpful if we choose the foods that are suitable for dealing with stress. Eating the right kind of food can help reduce inflammation and reduce the hormone cortisol that leads to many symptoms of stress.
Here’s a list of foods that you can eat whenever you feel stressed:
#1. Oily fish
Oily fish are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, which is an important nutrient for brain health. Omega-3 tackles inflammation and cortisol levels, and it also reduces clinical anxiety according to the latest research. Another research states that consuming Omega-3 on a regular basis can protect us from depression as well.
#2. Clams and oysters
Shellfish such as clams and oysters are packed with vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. All the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, are essential for maintaining the health of your nervous system. If you are eating enough vitamin B12 then it helps to counter many symptoms of anxiety such as irritability, lethargy, and depression.
An important thing to note is that vitamin B12 is not produced by plants so it’s impossible to get it from a vegan or vegetarian diet.
#3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antidepressant and it helps improve your mood when you’re feeling down. Vitamin C can also tackle frequent anxiety along with stress-related disorders that you can have.
For a healthy dose of Vitamin C, you should be eating oranges, lemons, kiwi, grapefruits, and peppers etc.
#4. Healthy carbs
Carbohydrates help release serotonin in the brain, which is the happy hormone. Serotonin also helps calm your mind, and promotes better sleep, and causes overall relaxation.
Doctors suggest eating healthy carbs that come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – since they boost tryptophan in the brain, which helps in the release o serotonin. You should avoid highly processed carbs such as sweets and cookies that come loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats because they can increase your stress in the long run even if they make you feel good for a little while.
#5. Fermented foods
Fermented foods are full of probiotics which help greatly in reducing your stress and controlling your cortisol levels. Research has shown that probiotics also help you deal with social anxiety and control negative thoughts – because 95% of the serotonin in your body is produced by the gut microbiota.
Fermented foods include yogurt, sourdough bread, kimchi, pickles, etc.
#6. Magnesium-rich foods
Stress can reduce the magnesium levels in your body and it may cause a host of health issues. So you need to make sure you eat foods packed with magnesium such as bananas, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.
#7. Crunchy foods
Many doctors and psychologists suggest that eating crunchy foods can help the brain deal with stress. Although it is recommended that you eat healthy crunchy foods such as carrots. apples and cucumbers etc – the physical act of cutting them up and eating gives you something to do with your hands and that helps in shifting the focus away from the anxiety.
Teas are a healthy source of antioxidants and theanine, that help in reducing stress and promoting calmness over your mind.
Dieticians suggest that it is preferable to drink green, black, and oolong teas. You can also drink chamomile tea. You should avoid regular teas and coffee because an intake of caffeine can increase stress and your cortisol levels.
Featured Image Courtesy: Healthline