Do you know that the food we eat can influence the way we feel? Studies in the field of nutrition indicate that a healthy, well-rounded diet is a significant aspect of mental health. Take for instance the effect of refined sugar on our health. Apart from increasing our blood sugar levels and contributing to weight gain, taking refined sugar may affect your performance at work and give you mood swings.
You can avoid these problems by eating foods that promote your general well-being, and that is especially useful in reducing anxiety and stress. Start eating smart today and you will be happier and healthier for life.
Here is a list of seven relaxing foods to keep away stress and anxiety.
1. Dark Chocolate
Eating Dark chocolate is an excellent source of tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid for the synthesis of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps the brain relax. Also, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that help to keep the heart in good shape. For best value for money, buy dark chocolate with high cocoa solid content and low sugar.
Substitutes: Tryptophan is naturally occurring in almost all protein giving foods such as legumes, red meat, nuts, almonds, and sesame seeds.
Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates that help the body absorb tryptophan, which is used by the body to make serotonin, a brain relaxant. Oats contain soluble fiber which lowers the blood cholesterol and are a great source of high-quality starch that won’t increase your blood sugar levels. For maximum benefits, combine oats with proteins like dark chocolate, nuts, and seeds.
Substitutes: Other sources of complex carbohydrates are legumes, brown rice, and unrefined grains. Avoid moldy grains and legumes because they might contain dangerous, carcinogenic fungi.
Milk is a source of protein rich in tryptophan, which is used by the body to manufacture serotonin, a neurochemical that helps to relax the brain and enhance the quality of our sleep. If you are lactose tolerant, an easy way of reducing stress is by drinking milk.
Substitutes: For people who are milk-intolerant, you can always take milk of plant origins such as rice or soy milk.
Shrimps are an excellent bundle of essential nutrients in a small package. These seafood are an excellent source of selenium and tryptophan, two key substances for relaxation of the body and mind. They are also rich in vitamins B12 and D, and omega-3 fatty acids. In case you are not sure of their cholesterol, many studies indicate that the cholesterol in shrimps may be beneficial to our bodies.
Substitutes: You can also eat fish, prawns, and lobsters to get the same nutritional
Nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral whose deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Brazil nuts are exceptionally rich in selenium, and just two of these nuts or a handful of nuts per day is enough to deliver the needed amount of the mineral.
Substitutes: Selenium is also present in cod, salmon, Shikate mushrooms and tuna, although they have less selenium than nuts.
6. Load up on Spinach
Spinach is a vegetable dense of Magnesium, a mineral essential for muscle relaxation and soothing of the nerves. Magnesium deficiency can result in cramps, fatigue, and muscle tension. Apart from being rich in Magnesium, spinach is packed full of vitamins A, C, folate, and iron. Take half a cup of cooked spinach or one cup of fresh spinach per day to infuse your body with Magnesium. Take care to consume more of organic spinach, as pesticides are used heavily in the production of spinach.
Substitutes: halibut, peppermint, and pumpkin seeds are also rich in magnesium.
Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help people with rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disorders. It is also rich in magnesium, a mineral needed for relaxing muscles and blood vessels. With a handful of basil in your food, you also get iron, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Make sure to add the herb when the food is almost done, to prevent it from losing flavor and its essence.
Substitutes: Other herbs that can help to control stress and anxiety are Chamomile and lemon balm.
So, there you have it – seven top foods that help keep way anxiety and stress. Are you looking for foods that could help you control stress and anxiety? Then, try any of these foods.