10 Foods That Reduce Stress

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Thursday January 7, 2021

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Is 2020 over yet? If you’re one of the many people feeling stressed to the max, please know that you are not alone. However, what can you do to ease your anxiety? 

Have you considered adjusting your diet? The human body is a giant chemistry set, and everything you ingest creates specific reactions that either benefit or harm you. The 10 foods below contain nutrients that help reduce stress. 

1. Sweet Potatoes 

Did you know the reason behind your anxious mood might arise in your gut? Your intestinal microbiome consists of beneficial bacteria that send signs to your brain. If these fall out of balance, you could find yourself in a funk without knowing why. 

Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Though your body cannot digest either kind, they promote healthy bacterial growth. The antioxidants in the purple variety may increase the beneficial effects. 

2. Walnuts  

If you want to ease stress, start sprinkling some walnuts on salads and parfaits. These nutty wonders contain 163% of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium. 

What makes that mineral so magical? It has long had a reputation as the original chill pill for defeating anxiety and depression. You can also find magnesium in wheat bran, but modern food processing techniques strip it away, creating many deficiencies. 

3. Pepitas 

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, contain nearly half your RDA of manganese, a vital nutrient. Research indicates that people with deficiencies in this mineral run a higher risk of mental disorders, including anxiety. 

Fall is pumpkin season —  don’t toss the innards when carving a jack-o’-lantern or making pumpkin soup. Instead, roast the seeds in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt for a healthy, stress-busting snack. 

4. Bananas 

Bananas are fun to peel and eat — the motion alone might ease your stress some. However, it’s the heart-healthy benefits you want to reap. 

These fruits contain significant levels of potassium. When you experience long-term stress, it can rewire your brain to keep your blood pressure high, raising your risk of heart attack or stroke. This mineral acts to lower the excess load on your arteries and veins. 

5. Fish 

According to research by Dr. Kuan Pin-Su from the China Medical University Hospital in Taiwan, omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the stress response in patients with clinical anxiety. What’s one of the best sources of these substances? 

Serve up some salmon or mackerel for dinner when you feel anxious. Try to consume fish at least once a week or more when stressful situations, like pandemics, shake up your world. 

6. Brazil Nuts 

Did you know that a single Brazil nut contains your RDA of selenium? This mineral also influences mood, and deficiency can lead to anxiety and depression. 

Researchers found a correlation between anxiety, depression and fatigue and low selenium levels. When they received a supplement, their symptoms decreased over five weeks. 

7. Lotus 

You might think of lotus as a brand of luxury automobile or a yoga pose. However, the root of this Indian flower provides considerable nutrition. It’s high in potassium, fiber and manganese. 

How can you eat it? You can add the root to soups and stews or slice them and bake them into chips. 

8. Turmeric 

When you think of comfort food, your mind might not turn to a curry. However, this Indian spice is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents on the planet. 

How does this relate to stress? Excess tension cues your body to release more cortisol. While this hormone is beneficial in small amounts, continued exposure can wreak havoc by increasing inflammation. By taming this symptom, you may alleviate the mental effects. 

9. Warm Milk 

Warm milk has trace amounts of tryptophan, the same chemical that makes you feel drowsy after eating Thanksgiving dinner. While experts claim the levels are too low to have any effect, anecdotal evidence supports a glass to ease you into dreamland. The soporific results may stem from the nostalgic memories it evokes of your caregiver tucking you into bed, but if it calms you down, why knock it? 

10. Herbal Tea

Finally, several varieties of herbal tea can beat stress naturally. Chamomile and lavender are two noted varieties, and both herbs grow well on a sunny windowsill. You can dry the leaves and flowers and put them in a teapot complete with an infuser to get maximum potency. Maybe add a dollop of warm milk to the finished brew. 

Try These 10 Foods to Beat Stress Naturally 

When you feel overwhelmed, a holistic approach can help restore calm. Try these 10 foods to beat stress naturally and reclaim your inner zen. 

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