13 Terrific Foods To Help Relieve Stress.

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13 Terrific Foods to Help Relieve Stress

If you’re feeling stressed, it’s only natural to seek relief.

While occasional bouts of stress are difficult to avoid, chronic stress can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. In fact, it may increase your risk of conditions like heart disease and depression

Interestingly, certain foods and beverages may have stress-relieving qualities.

Here are 13(On Plan) stress-relieving foods and beverages to try if you’re feeling bugged out.

  1. Matcha powder

This vibrant green tea powder is popular among health enthusiasts because it’s rich in L-theanine, a non-protein amino acid with powerful stress-relieving properties.

Matcha is a better source of this amino acid than other types of green tea, as it’s made from green tea leaves grown in shade. This process increases its content of certain compounds, including L-theanine.

Both human and animal studies show that matcha may reduce stress if its L-theanine content is high enough and its caffeine is low

In a recent 15-day study, 36 people ate smoothies containing 4.5 grams of matcha powder each day.  They experienced significantly reduced activity of the stress marker salivary alpha-amylase, compared with a placebo group . (resource)

 

  1. Swiss chard

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s packed with stress-fighting nutrients.

Just 1 cup (175 grams) of cooked Swiss chard contains 36% of the recommended intake for magnesium, which plays an important role in your body’s stress response.

Low levels of this magnesium are associated with conditions like anxiety and panic attacks. Plus, chronic stress may deplete your body’s magnesium stores, making this mineral especially important when you’re stressed.  Have you been using your magnesium cream at night?

 

 

  1. Kimchi

Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish that’s typically made with napa cabbage and daikon, a type of radish. Fermented foods like kimchi are packed with beneficial bacteria called probiotics and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Research reveals that fermented foods (like sauerkraut & kefir) may help reduce stress and anxiety. For example, in a study in 710 young adults, those who ate fermented foods more frequently experienced fewer symptoms of social anxiety.

Many other studies show that probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods like kimchi have beneficial effects on mental health. This is likely due to their interactions with your gut bacteria, which directly affect your mood (resource).

 

  1. Artichokes

Artichokes are an incredibly concentrated source of fiber and especially rich in prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut.

Animal studies indicate that prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides , that’s a mouth full😊, (FOSs), which are concentrated in artichokes, may help reduce stress levels.

improved anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as that high quality, prebiotic-rich diets may reduce your risk of stress (resource).

Artichokes are also high in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K, all of which are essential for a healthy stress response.

 

  1. Eggs

Eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin because of their impressive nutrient profile. Whole eggs are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants needed for a healthy stress response.

Whole eggs are particularly rich in choline, a nutrient found in large amounts in only a few foods. Choline has been shown to play an important role in brain health and may protect against stress.

 

  1. Fatty fish

Fatty fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, and sardines are incredibly rich in omega-3 fats and vitamin D, nutrients that have been shown to help reduce stress levels and improve mood.

Omega-3s are not only essential for brain health and mood but may also help your body handle stress. In fact, low omega-3 intake is linked to increased anxiety and depression in Western populations

Vitamin D also plays critical roles in mental health and stress regulation. Low levels are associated with an increased risk of anxiety and depression.

 

  1. Parsley

The often-forgotten seasoning, Parsley is a nutritious herb that’s packed with antioxidants — compounds that neutralize unstable molecules called free radicals and protect against oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is associated with many illnesses, including mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Studies suggest that a diet rich in antioxidants may help prevent stress and anxiety.

Like you read in my prior article about eating a rainbow of colors in fruits & veggies, antioxidants can also help reduce inflammation, which is often high in those with chronic stress.

Parsley is especially rich in carotenoids, flavonoids, and volatile oils, all of which have powerful antioxidant properties.

 

  1. Garlic

Garlic is high in sulfur compounds that help increase levels of glutathione. This antioxidant is part of your body’s first line of defense against stress (resource).  Glutathione – read up on this!

What’s more, animal studies suggest that garlic helps combat stress and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

 

  1. Tahini

Tahini is a rich spread made from sesame seeds, which are an excellent source of the amino acid L-tryptophan.  9 we all have heard about L-tryptophan in turkey and how we all crash for a nap after Thanksgiving meals.

L-tryptophan is a precursor of the mood-regulating neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Following a diet high in tryptophan may help boost mood and ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.

In a 4-day study in 25 young adults, a high tryptophan diet led to better mood, decreased anxiety, and reduced depression symptoms, compared with a diet low in this amino acid (resource).

 

  1. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E. This fat-soluble vitamin acts as a powerful antioxidant and is essential for mental health.

A low intake of this nutrient is associated with altered mood and depression (44Trusted Source).

Sunflower seeds are also high in other stress-reducing nutrients, including magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, B vitamins, and copper (resource).

 

  1. Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are renowned for their health benefits. A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables may lower your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and mental health disorders like depression.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are some of the most concentrated food sources of some nutrients — including magnesium, vitamin C, and folate — that have been proven to combat depressive symptoms.

Broccoli is also rich in sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has neuroprotective properties and may offer calming and antidepressant effects.

Additionally, 1 cup (184 grams) of cooked broccoli packs over 20% of the DV for vitamin B6, a higher intake of which is tied to a lower risk of anxiety and depression in women (resource)

 

  1. Chamomile tea

Chamomile is a medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times as a natural stress reducer. Its tea and extract have been shown to promote restful sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

An 8-week study in 45 people with anxiety demonstrated that taking 1.5 grams of chamomile extract reduced salivary cortisol levels and improved anxiety symptoms (resource).

 

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are associated with a number of health benefits, including improved mood.  These berries are high in flavonoid antioxidants that have powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. They may help reduce stress-related inflammation and protect against stress-related cellular damage (resource).

What’s more, studies have shown that eating flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries may safeguard against depression and boost your mood (resource).

 

There are lots of foods on your plan that contain nutrients that may help you reduce stress.

Try these and let us know if you feel a difference.  Matcha powder, fatty fish, kimchi, garlic, chamomile tea, and broccoli are just a few that may help.  Try incorporating some of these foods and beverages into your diet to naturally promote stress relief.

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