How are you doing today?
Are you stressed?
You may have found this article because you are looking for foods to help with your current level of stress. Each of us face stressful situations during our lifetime. Whether we have stress during the week, a few times a month or several times a year, we will all face stressful situations at one point in our lives.
Others might have daily stress because of their job, career, family, relationships, or in other areas. One thing you to consider first is how to reduce the current amount of stress in your life.
While these foods will help, it is important for you to remember to breathe, pace yourself and look for additional ways to reduce stress.
What we eat has a powerful influence on our bodies. Many years ago, while studying computer science, I learned the ‘GIGO’ method of programming. ‘GIGO” means “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” When programming, when you put “garbage code” into a computer, you will get garbage out. The purpose was to be sure we are putting pure code into the programs.
I have found, over my few years of life since then that the same principle applies to many other areas of life, including what we eat. If you put garbage into your body, you will get garbage out…but also, it is much more. When you put garbage food into your body, you might notice how your body feels sluggish and different.
Remember the sluggish feeling after eating fast food? How about the sluggish feeling after overeating sugar-filled food?
If you remember those times, you understand the importance of putting good food into your body.
When it comes to a stressful life, how can changing your food intake change the way you deal with stress?
Where to Start
First, you need to achieve a healthy, balance diet. Be sure you are not “stress-eating” and filling your body with junk food. This might be one of the hardest steps in the process of eating healthy.
Many people will eat high-sugar content foods during stressful times. It is easy to feel so stressed that you grab the first thing you see. Be sure to keep a record of your eating habits normally, but especially during stressful times. Having a record of your food intake will help you in creating a healthy balance.
For instance, foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins are the best way to ensure that you are getting the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. These foods will also not give you the sluggish feeling you experience after eating junk food.
When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.
Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:
#1 – Avocado
Avocados are a versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie.
Avocados These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage.
Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
#2 – Blueberries
If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, consider swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods…blueberries. This is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm.
You may already know that blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
#3 – Chamomile Tea
You must remind yourself that it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress. What you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling.
Drinking liquids which are high in sugars, high-fructose corn syrup, and caffeine can increase your stress levels. These drinks include most soft drinks, coffee, and energy drinks. For many people, these are the drinks they run to first when feeling stressed.
Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother. It has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
#4 – Chocolate
This is the one most people run to once stress begins to take hold. It is also one which can go both ways; both positive and negative.
While it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you’re stressed.
Chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate is best for you, as it contains more flavanols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
The next time you buy chocolate look for dark chocolate (at least 90% cocoa). Also, remember not to overeat chocolate, even dark chocolate, because overeating will take away the good benefits you might experience.
#5 – Beef
While beef will assist you in relieving stress through a healthy-balanced diet, there might be greater benefits in grass-feed beef. Studies are still be conducted to see the benefits and differences.
Grass-fed beef will cost most due to various factors, but the benefits you might feel can outweigh the costs. I would do your own research with your eating habits to see if you find a difference.
Grass-fed beef has a vast range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
#6 – Oatmeal
When you think of oatmeal, you typically think of it as a breakfast food. However, oatmeal can be a filling comfort food, and has many healthy properties to make you feel better from the inside out.
As a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin. This helps you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
As an adult, this might be the food needed to calm your stressful day; not only as a breakfast food, but as food to eat anytime.
#7 – Walnuts
A walnut is not the way some think when they think of a stress soothing food. However, if you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice.
Eating a handful of walnuts helps manage the stress thay you place on your heart and cardiovascular system.
The sweet flavor of walnuts can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
#8 – Pistachios
Another food which most do not think of but is great for snacking and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios.
Studies have found that eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed. This means you are putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries.
Along with the effects of pistachios on your heart, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can be quite therapeutic. It will give you time to relax as you shell the pistachio.
#9 – Green Leafy Vegetables
As you probably already know, green, leafy vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Also, you will find that green, leafy vegetables influence reducing your stress levels and the effects of stress on your body.
Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical.
I encourage you to make leafy greens a part of your diet. This will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
#10 – Fermented foods
Finally, on our list of stress fighting food are fermented foods.
Did you know that eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy?
This benefit to gut health will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve. It is one of the longest nerves in the body and controls your mood, heart rate, digestion and immune response.
As we have talked about these foods, it is important to note that we are not experts, and everyone’s body was created differently. These are ten foods that we have found to combat stress in your daily life. These foods are also known to aid your system in fending off bacteria and other harmful elements which attack your body.
We would encourage you to consult with your doctor or medical professional before beginning and major change in your food routine. Also, just because these might work for one person, may not mean the make a difference to you.
It is important that you know your body and food sources. We will encourage you to seek the best life possible by being the best person you can be and consuming the fuel needed for your daily life.
Stay well and work hard.
To your success,