For most, 2020 has been one hectic year. So it’s safe to say, that there are many stressed folks. And stress is one of the worst things you can do for your health. It exposes you to a higher risk of heart disease and even depression. Luckily, foods can help our bodies not only with physical healing, but also for emotional healing.
If you want to start 2021 afresh, then make sure you incorporate more of these stress-relieving foods!
These days, green drinks are all the rage on Instagram. But there’s a good reason why you should also get on board. Matcha (green tea) powder, is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid responsible for its properties. Matcha is a special type of green tea. Its leaves are grown in the shade, which causes an increase in this amino acid. It one study, a group eating matcha cookies found their stress levels to be significantly decreased.
Just one cup of cooked Swiss chard can provide you with almost 40% of your daily recommended intake of magnesium. Why is this important? Well, if your body is deficient in magnesium, it can lead to anxiety and panic attacks, and some say that chronic stress can actually lead to a further depletion of magnesium stores. So make sure you eat your greens!
Sweet potatoes are not only versatile to cook with (and delicious!), they are also rich in nutrients. Previous studies have shown that sweet potatoes can actually lower the levels of the cortisol stress hormone. Cortisol levels are high when you’re stressed and can actually lead to inflammation, pain, and other health conditions.
Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are packed with beneficial bacteria (called probiotics), high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Several studies have shown that fermented foods can help to reduce our levels of stress and anxiety. In fact, this who eat fermented foods are less likely to experience social anxiety! This is likely because probiotics affect out gut health, and gut health directly affects our mood!
There’s good reason to sit down with a cup of tea, just make sure that it’s chamomile! Chamomile is a herb that’s been used since ancient times to relieve stress naturally. It’s promotes good sleep (which also helps to reduce stress levels) and also decreases anxiety and depression. Drink a cup every day to get the benefits!
There are so many reasons to start eating chickpeas, and stress relief is one of them! Chickpeas are not only rich in several vitamins and minerals (such as magnesium, potassium, and selenium), but it’s also rich in L-tryptophan – and amino acid necessary to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
If you love seafood, then you’ll be happy to hear that shellfish (like mussels, clams, oysters) are great for relieving stress. It contains high amounts of the taurine, an amino acid that’s been associated with mood-boosting properties. Taurine is needed to produces dopamine – the ‘feel good’ hormone.
Not many people would think much of this unassuming herb. But parsley is not only nutritious, it’s also packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are off course essential to fight free radicals and protect against oxidative stress. This will help to protect your body against the effects of chronic stress.
Besides being delicious in both hummus and other recipes, your body will thank you for it! Tahini is made from sesame seeds, which are rick in L-tryptophan. As mentioned, this amino acid is essential to produce the mood-regulating hormones called dopamine and serotonin. A diet high in tryptophan should help to reduce anxiety and reduced depression symptoms.
Broccoli, together with other cruciferous vegetables can play a big role in the reduction of stress symptoms. Not only are the vegetables rich in nutrients that can lower your risk for certain cancers and heart disease. It also contains magnesium which is known to reduce and combat depressive symptoms.