What Foods Can Reduce Your Stress?
There’s no doubt about that, food and stress are related. And it’s not just when you’re stressed, you may eat too much, or too little, or reach for the wrong foods.
The food you eat directly affects the processes in your body, and can stress you out or help you control stress.
The food that you eat provides more than energy. Your body uses nutrients from food to create the chemical messengers that keep your system functioning properly.
Probiotic, prebiotic and fermented foods
Probiotic and fermented foods help maintain the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. This is important for reducing stress, because one of the main mood-enhancing hormones is made in your intestines.
About 90% of your body’s serotonin is made in the digestive tract, so having a healthy gut is essential. You need serotonin because it promotes feelings of happiness and well-being.
Foods like Greek yogurt, kombucha tea, and sauerkraut all naturally make for a healthy gut.
Probiotic supplements in general appear to be safe and may provide benefits. But probiotic foods provide even more benefits because they contain other components that help protect bacteria. For example, a serving of milk yogurt can help protect bacteria from your stomach acid so they can last long enough to make their way to your large intestine.
High-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes contain “prebiotics,” which also feed the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract.
Foods High in Magnesium
In order to reduce stress, sleep is the key. And magnesium has been shown to help you sleep and reduce anxiety.
Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, from green leafy vegetables to salmon and even dark chocolate.
A little bit of dark chocolate can be good for you, but eating too much can have the opposite effect.
The hormones and neurotransmitters that make up your body’s stress response are made of amino acids, which you get from the protein in your diet.
If you don’t get enough protein, you will suffer from a nutritional deficiency that plays a role in your mood and brain function.
Experts recommend eggs and fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna to provide plenty of protein.
Eggs are natural multivitamins as they are packed with nutrients that play a role in regulating your body’s stress response. And fatty fish contain omega 3 fatty acids, which are very important for overall brain health.
Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, tofu and beans can also help you keep your protein intake high.
Research suggests a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and stress.
Low vitamin D levels have been shown in people experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression.
Vitamin D is found in dairy products like eggs and cheese, as well as fatty fish like salmon. Mushrooms also contain vitamin D. More research needs to be done to elucidate the connection, but vitamin D is known to be important for your immune system. If you’re sick, it can be stressful.