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How to reduce Stress and Anxiety with Foods

Our brains require a constant supply of fuel. The foods we eat directly influence the structure and function of our brain, as well as our mood. Eating high-quality, nourishing foods that contain lots of vitamins and minerals, allows our brains to function best. Alternatively, when we eat processed and refined foods, they promote inflammation, oxidative stress and altered mood, such as anxiety.

Our bodies produce about 95% of our serotonin in our gastrointestinal tract, the good bacteria in our gut highly influences our ability to produce it. Research shows that people who have higher levels of good bacteria in their guts experience lower anxiety and stress and have improved mental outlooks. By using food as our medicine, we can incorporate foods that reduce stress into our diet and get a handle on our stress and anxiety once and for all.

To get you started here’s a list of 10 foods to help reduce stress and anxiety


Tumeric


Curcumin, an element found in turmeric, has been researched extensively in recent years, and the research is showing numeric could be as effective as Prozac in treating depression and anxiety. The properties in turmeric have been seen to enhance neutron health , reduce inflammation and regenerate brain cells.

Kefir

Kefir is a yogurt like drink made with fermented cows milk. It contains probiotics to support the good gut bacteria which in turn supports serotonin production.

Avocado


Monosaturated fats in avocados support neurotransmitters and overall brain health. Magnesium rich also, which can help to calm nerves, nourish our nervous system, regulate our blood pressure and help balance our blood sugars. Other magnesium rich foods include bananas, black beans and high quality dark chocolate.

Asparagus


High in folate. Studies have shown a lack of folate and B vitamins can increase your risk of depression and anxiety.

Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens contain the same amount of calcium as milk. Calcium is an essential mineral that supports bone health, lowers risk of high blood pressure, and also helps absorb vitamin D - which promotes happiness.


Oranges

Instead of a sugary snack, reach for an orange instead. The aroma, vitamins and antioxidants in oranges and other citrus fruits reduce stress and boosts our immunity.

Turkey

Turkey contains tryptophan, a powerful stress buster which also promotes mental health and wellbeing. A recent study found that tryptophan can help ease postpartum depression in new mums.

Oats

Replace processed carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates, this will balance your blood sugars, you will stay fuller for longer and give you B vitamins, folate and magnesium.

Grass Fed Beef


Grass fed Beef is lower in overall fat and contains 2 -4 times higher amount of omega 3’s than beef that is not grass fed. Also organic grass fed beef does not contain hormones.

Salmon

Salmon is a great source of omega 3’s, especially wild caught salmon.

Additional tips

  • Eat breakfast - this will stabilise your blood sugars and in turn, your mood.

  • Eating complex carbohydrates make it easier for your body to absorb tryptophan and produce serotonin. Whole grains like oats and brown rice as opposed to refined products such as bagels and pasta.

  • Lower your intake of caffeine, sugar and alcohol and replace with herbal teas and increase your water intake.

If its an over haul of your diet that’s needed, try changing one or two meals to wholesome and unprocessed, feel the change then move onto the next change. This way you aren’t setting yourself up for failure and hopefully established new habits that are equally challenging to change, but they are beneficial changes you won’t want to alter.





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