Life never seems to slow down, does it? So, can we deal with stress when we always seem to create more? Just by finding new ways to amplify stress relief. And yeah, food is one of them.
Anxiety can be horrible, because it either gets you to eat way too much, which we in the biz call ‘stress-eating’, or it can just shut down your appetite entirely. The latter is what happens to me, but sometimes I just want to have chocolates and cookies and sweets and chips just to make me feel better. This gets me into a rollercoaster with my blood sugar levels. With highs and lows that just make me want even more unhealthy food. Don’t even get me started on how my sleep patterns are affected.
What I can do, however, is to start making some better choices and plan them out when I am feeling a bit better about my stress levels. And part of this plan is to choose some stress relief foods – not only are they healthy, but they’re also really good for mellowing out your anxiety. Which is exactly what I needed.
5 stress relief foods to cool you down
If carbs are your go-to poison, then consider replacing bad carbs with some good ones, so that you don’t deny your craving completely. So, have some healthy carbs, because they can help your brain make some serotonin. A complex carb like oatmeal will definitely help your blood sugar levels stay regulated.
When in doubt, reach for things that have some folate in them. Not only is it great for pregnancies, but it also helps produce dopamine, that famous brain chemical that induces pleasure in your body. That pleasure will surely help keep you calm. A couple of studies have shown that people who consume folate are less likely to experience depression symptoms, be they middle-aged and elderly or college students.
Fruits and veggies always help with sustaining a better mood throughout the day.
There’s an interesting reason why pistachios are great with stress relief: they enable you to keep your hands busy. If you’re ruminating or obsessing about things you said or did or are not able to do, doing something repetitive with your hands is a great help! The moves help calm you down. And eating some of the best nuts out there is definitely near the top of the list. Shelling pistachios can help keep your mind calmer, but it also lowers your blood pressure and heart rate.
And of course, other nuts and seeds that you have to shell also work marvelously. Like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are great and they give you that repetitive motion you need. Not to mention that seeds are loaded with magnesium which is thought to help regulate emotions.
4. Turkey breast
When you eat turkey at Thanksgiving, it’s natural to feel like you just want to sleep then and there. The explanation is simple: turkey breast is loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that doesn’t only put you to sleep – it also helps your brain produce serotonin. Serotonin, you might have heard, regulates your hunger and give you feelings of well-being, even happiness. And if you’re a bit quick to anger, regular consumption of tryptophan can help you chill out, friend.
If you want more tryptophan, make sure to include nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, oats, beans, and eggs.
We’ve already talked extensively about how the bacteria in your gut affects your moods and general wellbeing. That’s why yogurt, a probiotic food, will probably come in handy to regulating your emotions. Stress makes gastrointestinal symptoms worse, and the connection goes both ways: a happy gut leads to a happier brain. Yogurt also has calcium and protein that can really make a difference in your diet.