Occasional bouts of stress are difficult to avoid, chronic stress can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. If you’re feeling stressed, it’s only natural to seek relief.
While comfort foods may help with stress in the short term, longer term the effects don’t last and can lead to weight gain and poor health. There are certain nutrients that will nourish a stressed-out body. Focus on “nutrient-dense foods rich in healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, along with lean protein, B vitamins and magnesium-rich foods to better manage chronic stress.
Here’s a closer look at the foods that help fight stress when your day dips into overwhelming territory.
1. High-Fiber Foods: High-fiber foods can help prevent a rapid rise and subsequent fall in blood sugar, which can exacerbate stress and increase cortisol levels.
2. Magnesium-Rich Foods: This mineral functions as a stress regulator — but it also becomes depleted by stress. If you’re stressed, focusing on magnesium-rich foods like seeds, nuts, etc. is critical for a healthy stress response.
3. Salmon: Inflammation can reduce a brain chemical called BDNF, which can adversely affect your brain function, mood and anxiety levels. Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to slow the production of inflammatory proteins in the body.
4. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a good choice because it has polyphenols, which may support healthy brain function. Polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are associated with better psychological wellbeing.
5. Low-Caffeine Drinks: Tea is great for stress, as it contains theanine, a calming chemical found in green tea. Also tea is warm, which enhances its comfort level.
Numerous foods contain nutrients that may help you reduce stress. Try incorporating some of these foods and beverages into your diet to naturally promote stress relief.