Wondering how to reduce stress? Rather than swallowing a pill and maybe in addition to your go-to chill out routines, look at what you’re eating. Eating healthy foods will make you feel better.
How to Reduce Stress Through Dietary Changes
Have you been struggling with stress or anxiety for a long time? Are you taking your medications prescribed by your therapist?
What many people don’t realize is that your diet plays a significant role in anxiety management. The food you consume affects how you feel. That’s because your gut is directly connected to your brain. The food you eat affects neurotransmitters in the brain and can affect your mood.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle you will see positive changes in your overall health, and it will be easier to deal with mental health issues.
Here’s How to Reduce Stress with Nutrition Changes
Along with regular workout and meditation, eliminating the processed and junk food from your diet can help you feel better. Sometimes, the anxiety sufferers snack excessively or even binge eat.
1. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts contain selenium, which may help to improve mood. Brazil nuts are high in selenium. Selenium may improve mood by reducing inflammation, which is often at heightened levels when someone has a mood disorder, such as anxiety.
Other nuts, animal products, and vegetables, such as mushrooms and soybeans, are an excellent source of selenium.
Brazil nuts and other nuts are also a good source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants can be beneficial for treating anxiety, while some research has shown that low levels of vitamin E may lead to depression in some people.
2. Fatty fish
Omega-3-rich foods that contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) provides two essential fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA and DHA regulate neurotransmitters, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy brain function.
Egg yolks are another great source of vitamin D. Eggs are also an excellent source of protein. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids the body needs for growth and development.
Eggs also contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps create serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin is also thought to improve brain function and relieve anxiety.
4. Pumpkin seeds
5. Dark chocolate
Researchers have found that dark chocolate may help reduce stress.
Experts have long suspected that dark chocolate might help reduce stress and anxiety. A 2014 study found that 40g of dark chocolate helped reduce perceived stress in female students.
Other studies have generally found that dark chocolate or cocoa may improve mood. However, many of these studies are observational, so the results need to be interpreted with caution.
Chocolate has a high tryptophan content, which the body uses to turn into mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, such as serotonin in the brain.
Turmeric is a spice commonly used in Indian and South-East Asian cooking. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin. Curcumin may help lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that often increase in people experiencing mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. A 2015 study found that curcumin reduced anxiety in obese adults.
Another study found that an increase of curcumin in the diet also increased DHA and reduced anxiety. Turmeric is easy to add to meals. It has minimal flavor, so goes well in smoothies, curries, and casserole dishes.
Click here to read about how to reduce stress by eating a healthy diet.