Have you noticed your mood change when you eat a bar of chocolate? If you’re trying to reduce your stress, you probably know that eating a piece of the dark chocolate bar can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But did you know some superfoods can lower your stress levels?
Understand the food and stress relation
Cortisol is the primary hormone responsible for stress. Our body releases this hormone when we are in a stressful situation. Although cortisol is necessary to manage body instincts, too much of it can take a severe toll on your physical and emotional health. However, certain foods can help reduce your levels of cortisol.
Avocados offer not only omega-3 fatty acids but also phytochemical, fibre, and essential nutrients. As a result, consuming this superfood can reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood.
Nuts contain B vitamins and healthy fatty acids. According to research, B vitamins can help reduce stress. Therefore, intake of Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts is necessary to control your stress. However, overconsumption may add excess calories.
- Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are an incredible source of potassium, which helps electrolyte balance and manage blood pressure.
- Sunflower seeds
These seeds are high in magnesium. And they have linked regular intake of magnesium to better stress management.
Studies have shown that vitamin C may help reduce stress. Therefore, eating fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries can relax your anxiety levels. According to research, sniffing citrus can also calm you down and reduce your stress levels. Sniff citrus fruit for ten minutes and see a notable decrease in anxiety! So next time when you feel stressed, just sniff some lemons.
The good-for-you bacteria or probiotics not only support a healthy gut but improve your mood. Science shows the direct correlation of probiotics to improving anxiety, depression, and mood. The good-for-you bacteria produce serotonin, which positively influences mood. In addition, yogurt and other fermented foods like cheese, kimchi, and fermented soy in the diet can benefit in reducing anxiety and stress.
5. Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet includes many healthy foods like eggs, fish, etc. Moreover, these foods are good to consume when you are stressed. So adopt a Mediterranean diet for general health and fitness, including stress release.
An egg is a rich food that contains nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, etc. Additionally, they contain choline, which has been proven to play an important role in reducing stress.
Fish is rich in omega-3 fats and vitamin D, which have been found to help reduce stress levels and improve mood. Research states that Vitamin D plays a paramount role in mental health and stress regulation. So if you lack vitamin D, you are at a high risk of anxiety and depression.
There are several ways to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Interestingly, certain foods have stress-reducing qualities, as they contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce inflammation and stress. As a result, it can make your stress levels go down, controlling the cortisol hormone.
However, not all foods can be your allies. For example, avoid eating foods that raise cortisol levels, such as high-sugar foods, foods that include caffeine, carbs, etc. Therefore, paying attention to what you’re eating when you’re stressed is essential. So be mindful while choosing food.