Eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, and lean protein can help combat stress. Stay away from processed foods as they tend to have a low nutritional value and impair your ability to tackle stress. Here is my list of foods that may be especially potent when it comes to tackling stress.
Oats are slow-releasing carbohydrates that will give you a mood boost while also giving you long-lasting energy to deal with a stressful day. Having oatmeal for breakfast can reduce levels of stress hormones and increase your serotonin levels, which stimulates a feeling of calmness.
Blueberries contain a compound called polyphenols that may help reduce stress and anxiety due to their anti-inflammatory properties and effect on the central nervous system. Add blueberries to your oatmeal for an extra “anti-stress” boost or eat them with a handful of nuts as a balanced (and balancing) afternoon snack. They are also rich in vitamin C to support the nervous and immune systems.
Turmeric has been the go-to spice in the wellness world for some time now. For good reasons. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin, which may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Curcumin has been shown to improve systemic markers of oxidative stress. Add Turmeric to your morning smoothie, in curries or teas.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants and helps combat oxidative stress. Garlic also contains fructans. Fructans are non-digestible fibres known as prebiotics. They act as fuel for the bacteria in our gut and may play a role in reducing stress response. To help maintain a healthy microbiome add garlic to your dishes.
As an excellent source of potassium pumpkin seeds help regulate the electrolyte balance in your body, which affects your mood. Eating foods rich in potassium may therefore help with stress management and mood disorders. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of the zinc, which is essential for brain and nerve development. Zinc is also key to healthy immune function.
6. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are nutrient dense and an excellent source of selenium, essential for immune health . They may help regulate your thyroid function, reduce inflammation, and support your immune system. A properly functioning immune system is better able to combat stress. Brazil nuts also have higher concentrations of magnesium, copper, and zinc than most other nuts. Don’t eat more than 3 or 4 brazil nuts as it will take you over the recommended daily amount of selenium.
7. Magnesium rich foods
Foods like leafy greens, avocados and bananas are a great source of magnesium. Magnesium can help alleviate tension by relaxing the muscles. It is also a nervous system relaxant and mineral that assists with anxiety, irritability, and restlessness. It is really useful to take at night as a supplement if you are having trouble with sleep.