8 Foods That Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Not only does eating nutritious foods reduce stress itself, certain healthy anti-anxiety foods can regulate and boost mood thanks to the nutritional properties they provide!
Did you know the foods we choose to eat not only effects the body physically, but impacts it mentally? Think about it: The body requires nutrients from foods to carryout innumerable processes to sustain and optimize life. Regularly consuming calorically-dense and nutrient-less food products can tarnish physiological processes, including those that fuel the brain. But not only does eating nutritious foods reduce stress itself, certain healthy anti-anxiety foods can regulate and boost mood thanks to the nutritional properties they provide!
8 Foods that Reduce Stress
Start the day off right! Consuming a healthful breakfast consistently shows to improve mood along with more energy throughout the day. And oatmeal is a top food to reduce anxiety, as its carb content increases levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Popularly known as the "feel good" hormone, the calming effect of serotonin can relieve feelings of anxiety and nervousness. And thanks to the slow absorption of its fiber content, blood sugar and energy levels remain stable. Preparing these overnight oat recipes can also make your mornings less stressful!
Eggs are rich in folic acid and vitamin B12, B vitamins critical for neurotransmitter synthesis that play an important role in mood regulation. In fact, a deficiency of vitamin B12 has been linked to panic attacks, depression, fatigue, and anxiety.
Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acids produced into serotonin. While the triggered brain chemical can initiate a calming sensation and may lessen depressive feelings, researchers suggest healthy carbs can aid in more efficient absorption of tryptophan-containing foods, including oatmeal detailed above.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat shown to successfully reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. In fact, researchers have found cultures that eat foods with high levels of omega-3s also have lower levels of depression. Though the exact mechanism is unclear at this time, omega-3s have shown to reduce levels of inflammation, subsequently reducing the intensity of anxiety. Omega-3s are also found in other fatty fish, including halibut and tuna, and sourced from flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, and almonds.
5. Grass-fed Beef
Going grass-fed when it comes to your beef selection offers the body a larger amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Grassfed beef is also rich in zinc, a mineral known to offer calming and sedating effects, with a severe deficiency in zinc showing to increase feelings of anxiety and depression.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, live bacteria cultures that supports gut health by controlling the growth of harmful bacteria. But along with gut health, growing evidence suggests probiotics may reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve mood.
For the ultimate good mood food, top blueberries (and chia seeds packed with omega-3s) onto your yogurt! Reported by Dole, British researchers fed young adults about a cup and a half of blueberries, then measured effects on mood, memory, and decision making. The results? Mood scores rose 15 percent five hours after blueberry consumption! Researchers speculate the affects are related to blueberries' anthocyanin content, which has shown to reduce inflammation and defend against negative emotions.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Whereas the act of eating chocolate is nonetheless enjoyable, it also supplies magnesium, a mineral involved in hundreds of body reactions. Among these processes, mental health is included, with a magnesium deficiency suggested to facilitate feelings of irritability and behavioral disturbances. It is important to mention the key need for moderated portions and attention to added sugars in chocolate, as too much can cause spikes and dips in blood sugars, energy, and mood.
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