While this may seem a little odd, a large portion of our mental health is actually determined by the state of our digestive system. Food is directly related to personal feelings – after all, have you ever heard of someone binging on chocolate when they get emotionally upset then feeling better after? Well, the fact is that what we put into our bodies can seriously change our moods and this is actually something that we can use to our advantage when it comes to sensitive issues such as stress and anxiety. So if you have noticed yourself tensing up lately or have noticed someone close to you getting a lot more rigid, here are some easy stress and anxiety relieving foods that you will have to try out ASAP.
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It has been shown that dark chocolate is high in some very beneficial minerals such as magnesium and I-theanine. These two minerals showcase some great relaxing properties that help ease tension and promote calmness. Studies have been carried out and have shown that those eating 40g of dark chocolate once a day for two weeks felt less anxiety than those who went dark chocolate free. So whoever said chocolate wasn’t good for you? You have research by your side!
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These are often found in foods such as fatty fish i.e. tuna, salmon and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids have properties that can help lower inflammation in the brain and reduce stress by stopping cortisol (aka. the stress hormone) from skyrocketing to those higher levels which leads to anxiety attacks.
Research has proven that those who have a higher level of dopamine in their brain have a lower level of anxiety compared to those with less dopamine. In order to help increase your level of dopamine in the brain, protein is a great option. So the next time you are out at the supermarket, don’t hesitate to grab that piece of meat to cook up a nice meal – in fact, organ meats are probably the best way to go as they hold some essential anti-anxiety nutrients like vitamin D. Nevertheless, even if you aren’t a big fan of meat, you can also get a good level of protein from foods such as greek yoghurt, soy, beans, nuts and avocadoes.
Enabling the production of serotonin in the brain, carbohydrates offer a soothing function. Go for those more complex carbs that take a longer time to break down such as oatmeal, whole grains and quinoa etc. in order to avoid your body from receiving insulin overload.
Research has proven that a lack in the B vitamins can seriously put a damper on your mood and cause a spike in stress and anxiety. So don’t skip out on the daily essentials such as eggs, nuts, leafy greens, red meats and citrus based fruits in order to ensure that you are getting your RDA of B vitamins.
Chamomile and Rooibos Tea
Known worldwide for its highly soothing effects, sweet chamomile tea can help reduce stress levels within a mere couple of weeks if consumed on a daily basis. On the other hand, rooibos tea also works wonders by helping its consumer to balance their cortisol (hormone) levels and become more at ease.
From the moment you were born you have probably heard on a countless amount of occasions to eat those greens. Well, it turns out there is a reason behind it. Leafy greens such as spinach, actually contains a lot of magnesium, which just so happens to be a mineral that is well known for helping to lower stress levels. However, if going all Pop-eye isn’t your thing, how about Swiss chard? It is a wonderful alternative as it is filled to the brim with essential anti-anxiety minerals and vitamins and it also contains antioxidant rich betalains to help fight off any stress coming your way.