It’s only natural to seek relief when you’re stressed. While it’s impossible to escape occasional episodes of stress, persistent stress may have a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being. It may raise your risks of developing heart disease or depression. Surprisingly, some foods and drinks may offer anti-stress properties.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 9th Dec 2021.
18 Stress Relieving Foods To Boost Your Wellbeing
When you are stressed, your body can either shut down your desire for appetite, or it can be otherwise. It can be cortisol, known as the stress hormone. It may send out craving desire for salty food, sugary intake and fatty fast food as your brain might interpret it as fuel to fight the stress. That is why we tend to see people binge eating out of a sudden. Most probably, they are stressed out. To avoid gaining weight in times of extreme stress, here are 18 foods and drinks to include in your stress-relieving diet.
This bright green tea powder is popular among foodies because it’s high in L-theanine, a non-protein amino acid with effects.
Because matcha is produced from green tea leaves grown in the shade, it has more of this amino acid than other kinds of green tea. Specific molecules, such as L-theanine, are increased as a result of this process.
Matcha has been shown in both human and animal tests to decrease stress when the L-theanine concentration is high enough, and the caffeine amount is low.
For example, 36 individuals ate 4.5 grammes of matcha powder each day for 15 days in research. When compared to a placebo group, they had substantially lower activity of the stress marker salivary alpha-amylase.
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is high in anti-stress elements.
Magnesium, which plays a vital part in your body’s stress response, is found in only 1 cup (175 grammes) of cooked Swiss chard, which provides 36% of the necessary daily requirement.
Low levels of this mineral have been linked to anxiety and panic episodes in the past. Furthermore, prolonged stress may deplete your body’s magnesium reserves, making magnesium even more essential while you’re under pressure.
Consuming whole, nutrient-dense carbohydrate sources like sweet potatoes may assist in decreasing cortisol levels.
Even though cortisol levels are carefully controlled, prolonged stress may induce cortisol dysregulation, resulting in inflammation, discomfort, and other negative consequences.
Those who ate a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense carbohydrates had substantially lower levels of salivary cortisol than those who ate a typical American diet heavy in refined carbs, according to 8-week research among women with excess weight or obesity.
Sweet potatoes are a complete food that may be used as a carbohydrate source. They’re high in minerals like vitamin C and potassium, which are essential for stress response.
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish prepared most often using napa cabbage and daikon radish. Fermented foods, such as kimchi, are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and helpful microorganisms are known as probiotics.
Fermented foods have been shown in studies to help decrease stress and anxiety. In a survey of 710 young people, individuals who consumed fermented foods were shown to have fewer symptoms of social anxiety.
Probiotic pills and probiotic-rich foods like kimchi have been shown in many trials to improve mental wellness. This is most likely due to their interactions with the bacteria in your gut, which directly impact your mood.
Artichokes are a high-fibre food with a high concentration of prebiotics, a kind of fibre that nourishes the good bacteria in your stomach.
Prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides (FOSs), abundant in artichokes, have been shown in animal tests to help decrease stress levels.
Furthermore, one study found that individuals who consumed 5 grammes or more of prebiotics per day had reduced anxiety and depression symptoms. High-quality, prebiotic-rich diets may decrease stress risk.
Potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K are all critical for healthy stress response, and artichokes are rich in all of them.
Organ meats, such as the heart, liver, and kidneys of cows and chickens, are high in B vitamins, particularly B12, B6, riboflavin, and folate, all of which are important for stress management.
B vitamins, for example, are required for the synthesis of mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Stress may be reduced by taking B vitamins or eating meals like organ meats. B vitamin supplements were shown to reduce stress levels and improve mood in a study of 18 adult trials.
One slice of beef liver (85 grammes) provides more than half of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B6 and folate, more than 200 per cent for riboflavin, and more than 2,000 per cent for vitamin B12.
Because of their unique nutritional profile, eggs are frequently referred to as nature’s multivitamin. Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants included in whole eggs are essential for a balanced stress response.
Choline, a vitamin present in high quantities in just a few foods, is especially abundant in whole eggs. Choline has been proven to be beneficial to brain function and may even protect against stress.
Choline supplements have been shown in animal research to help with stress response and mood enhancement.
Shellfish, such as mussels, clams, and oysters, are rich in taurine, an amino acid that has been investigated for its possible mood-boosting effects.
Taurine and other amino acids are required to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, critical for stress regulation. Taurine has been shown to have antidepressant properties in research.
Shellfish are also high in vitamin B12, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, which may all aid to improve mood. Low zinc, copper, and manganese intakes were linked to depression and anxiety symptoms in a study of 2,089 Japanese individuals.
Acerola cherry powder
Acerola cherries are one of the highest sources of vitamin C available. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons have 50–100 per cent higher vitamin C.
Vitamin C. aids the stress response. Furthermore, increased vitamin C levels have been related to a better mood and a reduction in despair and rage. Moreover, meals high in this vitamin may help to enhance one’s perspective.
Acerola cherries are incredibly perishable, even though they may be eaten fresh. As a result, they’re most often marketed as a powder that may be mixed into meals and drinks.
Omega-3 fats and vitamin D are abundant in fatty fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, and sardines, which have been proven to help decrease stress and enhance mood.
Omega-3s are essential for brain function and mood, and they may also assist your body cope with stress. In fact, in Western societies, inadequate omega-3 consumption has been related to increased anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D is also important for mental health and stress management. An increased risk of anxiety and depression is linked to low levels.
Parsley is a healthy plant high in antioxidants, which protect. High-quality. High-quality against oxidative stress by neutralising unstable molecules called free radicals.
Many illnesses, including mental health problems like sadness and anxiety, are linked to oxidative stress. Antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce stress and anxiety, according to research.
Antioxidants may also assist with inflammation, which is common in people under a lot of stress.
Carotenoids, flavonoids, and volatile oils have potent antioxidant effects and are abundant in parsley.
Garlic is rich in sulphur compounds, which help glutathione levels rise. This antioxidant is a critical component of your body’s stress defence system.
Furthermore, animal studies indicate that garlic aids in stress reduction and anxiety and depression symptoms. More human research is still required.
Tahini is a creamy spread produced from sesame seeds, high in L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid.
The mood-regulating neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin are formed from L-tryptophan. A tryptophan-rich diet may improve mood and alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms.
Compared to a diet low in tryptophan, a high tryptophan diet improved mood, decreased anxiety, and reduced depression symptoms in 25 young people over four days.
Vitamin E is abundant in sunflower seeds. This fat-soluble vitamin is vital for mental health and serves as a potent antioxidant.
Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to depression and mood swings.
Other stress-relieving elements in sunflower seeds include magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, B vitamins, and copper.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are known for their health advantages. A diet high in cruciferous veggies may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and mental health issues, including depression.
Broccoli is one of the most concentrated dietary sources of certain minerals, such as magnesium, vitamin C, and folate, that have been shown to help with depression symptoms.
Sulforaphane, a sulphur molecule found in broccoli, has neuroprotective qualities and may have relaxing and antidepressant properties.
Furthermore, 1 cup (184 grammes) of cooked broccoli contains more than 20% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin B6, which has been linked to a reduced incidence of anxiety and depression in women.
Chickpeas are high in magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, manganese, and copper, which help relieve stress.
These tasty legumes are also high in L-tryptophan, a necessary amino acid for the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
Plant-protein-rich diets, such as chickpeas, have been shown to enhance brain health and function in studies.
A study of almost 9,000 individuals found that those who ate a Mediterranean diet vital in plant foods like legumes had a higher mood and were less stressed than those who ate a standard Western diet high in processed foods.
Chamomile is a medicinal plant that has been used as a natural stress reliever since ancient times. Its tea and extract have been proven to help people sleep better and decrease anxiety and depression symptoms.
8-week research found that ingesting 1.5 grammes of chamomile extract decreased salivary cortisol levels and alleviated anxiety symptoms in 45 individuals with anxiety.
Blueberries have been linked to a variety of health advantages, including a better mood.
Flavonoid antioxidants found in these berries have potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. They may aid in the reduction of stress-related inflammation as well as the prevention of stress-related cellular damage.
Furthermore, consuming flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries has been proven to protect against depression and improve mood.
Nutrients found in a variety of meals may help you cope with stress.
Matcha powder, fatty salmon, kimchi, garlic, chamomile tea, and broccoli are just a few examples of foods that may aid in weight loss.
To naturally encourage stress reduction, try adding some of these foods and drinks into your diet.