18 Stress-Relieving Foods – Part I
May 11, 2021|
To say that we are living in stressful times is an understatement!!! Political strife, Covid, an uptick in violence both on the streets and in the subway. Plus the stress of finding work or keeping your apartment.
Thankfully, one stress-reliever, the ability to gather socially (responsibly, of course), has resumed and typical stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation and yoga have always been available for us to utilize.
One overlooked reliever of stress is food. Listed below are 9 out of the 18 foods that help to do this.
Swiss Chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s packed with stress-fighting nutrients. One cup of cooked Swiss chard contains 36% of the recommended intake for magnesium which plays an important role in the body’s stress response. Low levels of magnesium are associated with anxiety and panic attacks and chronic stress may deplete magnesium from the body.
Sweet potatoes are packed with the nutrients vitamin C and potassium that are important in the response to stress and may help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic stress can lead to cortisol dysfunction causing inflammation, pain and other adverse effects.
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish typically made with napa cabbage and daikon (a type of radish). Fermented foods contain probiotics which are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Other fermented foods are kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, kombucha, and yogurt. Some studies show that probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods have beneficial effects on mental health, likely due to their interactions with your gut bacteria, which directly affect your mood.
Artichokes are an incredibly concentrated source of fiber and especially rich in prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut and may help reduce stress.
Organ meats, which include the heart, liver, and kidneys of animals like cows and chickens, are an excellent source of B vitamins particularly B12, B6, riboflavin and folate, essential for stress control. B vitamins are necessary for the production of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin which help to regulate mood.
Eggs, particularly whole eggs are chock full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants all necessary for a healthy stress response. They are rich in choline a nutrient found in only a few foods. It plays an important role in brain health and may protect against stress.
Shellfish, including mussels, clams, and oysters, are high in amino acids like taurine, which may have potential mood elevating properties.
Taurine, along with other amino acids, are needed to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine.
Shellfish are also loaded with vitamin B12, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, all of which may help boost mood.
Acerola cherry powder. Acerola cherries are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C. They boast 50–100% more vitamin C than citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Because they are highly perishable, they’re often sold as a powder which can be added to food and/or beverages.
Please watch for Part II of foods that help alleviate stress.