Always treat yourself like one holistic being, because that’s what you are
Trying to isolate what affects us into a separate “mind” and “body” is impossible. So learning what foods reduce stress and anxiety can have a massive impact on your life.
Your physical well-being and mental well-being are intrinsically linked, thanks to the mind-body connection. Stress affects your health, and health affects your body.
So, if you find yourself caught in a whirlwind of anxiety and the usual popular methods like meditation, an evening ritual, and light exercise aren’t helping, perhaps it’s time to look at your diet.
As with everything, moderation is key. These stress-relieving foods are not a cure-all, and there are no “bad” and “good” foods.
These suggestions are merely for you to try, and should not influence feelings of guilt or failure if you do not currently eat or enjoy them!
Holistic well-being means having options to improve your mind’s well-being and clarity, and if incorporating these foods for reducing stress and anxiety works for you, then that’s one more positive step you can take for yourself.
The top 9 foods that reduce stress and anxiety
Nutrient-dense food that provides essential antioxidants, fats, and vitamins can reduce mental fog, anxiety, and stress. Medical News Today details the research surrounding the 5 foods listed below, and more.
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout, and herring.
For premium well-being, you should have at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week.
These fish are high in Omega-3s, which affect your mental health and clarity. They also contain Vitamin D, which is a rare find! Low Vitamin D can worsen mood disorders and anxiety.
Eggs are a complete protein, and great for your dose of Vitamin D.
This food will have the same benefits for your mood as fatty fish. They also boost serotonin production, which is often called your body’s “feel good” chemical. When you have the right levels of serotonin in your body, you typically feel focused and happy.
Dark chocolate contains tryptophan, which can boost serotonin production.
Your brain needs serotonin to feel good, and we’re in luck! Dark chocolate can help with that too, plus who doesn’t love a sweet bite of guilty pleasures after lunch?
Our new superfood: turmeric.
Turmeric has a pleasant, mild flavor and a brilliant color. It also makes a real impact on your mood. Turmeric reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, so it can improve anxiety and depression.
Target your gut-brain connection with yogurt.
The link between gut health and mental health is beginning to be explored more deeply, and findings are incredibly promising.
Healing your gut health with healthy bacteria-balancing foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut might change your relationship to anxiety completely.
Avoid these 3 stress-causing ingredients in your diet
If you want to expand your stress-relieving lifestyle changes beyond simply introducing new foods into your diet, you can also reduce foods that have an anxiety-inducing effect.
Anything with added sugars and carbs.
With the high comes the crash. Added sugars and carbs, often present in processed and fast foods, cause insulin to rise and fall quickly. That affects your stress hormone cortisol, and not in a good way.
This is no surprise: caffeine increases anxiety.
If you’re a caffeine aficionado, you’ve felt the effects of one too many cups of coffee before. Cutting down on caffeine, or switching some of the coffee and energy drinks with tea, can drastically affect your mood.
Fried foods and trans fats increase inflammation–and stress.
Balance is important, and too much fried food affects that balance. The inflammation-causing trans fats create extra work for your body, lower your mood, cause fatigue, and contribute to feelings of stress.
These foods help regulate your stress hormones
Certain foods can help regulate the stress hormone cortisol and balance adrenal gland health.
One for the vegans: pumpkin seeds are your new best friend.
The potassium found in pumpkin seeds can regulate your electrolytes and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone). They also contain Zinc, which is important to keep mood disorders and anxiety at bay.
Green Tea can make a major difference, especially when paired with a reduction in coffee.
Green tea contains theanine, which reduces anxiety and our production of stress hormones. It actually inhibits cortisol-producing enzymes, which is wonderful news for our peace.
Target Vitamin C with fruits & veggies.
Red pepper, strawberry, kiwi and orange all contain high concentrations of Vitamin C, which supplements the adrenal glands (which regulate the feeling of anxiety, stress, and panic) and keeps them healthy and balanced.
Changing your habits based on what foods reduce stress and anxiety can change your life
The power of the mind-body connection is incredible. Gut-brain health, vitamins, hormone levels, and more all play a part in your mind’s well-being.
Targeting only “you as a physical being” or “you as a mental being” is only solving half of the balanced equation.
Holistic lifestyle changes work together to completely transform your relationship to stress and anxiety, ultimately bringing you into a tranquil state of existence.
We continually seek out new ways to chase a holistic, balanced lifestyle in our daily rituals. To join us on this journey, subscribe to our newsletter–we value your time, and will never clutter your inbox.