While we all strive to lead healthy and fulfilling lives, we can admit to one thin – stress is part of the process. Regardless of how determined or positive you are, there are those moments that you can’t help but be low. Moreover, a 2018 research on mental health shows that 74% of people experienced stress in the past. Even so, 51 % of stressing adults were depresses and 61% felt anxious.
Given the above facts, it’s indisputable that stress and anxiety may be affecting more people today than ever. Moreover, with the increasing demands of day to day life, it is becoming harder to balance social, professional, and personal. These demands tend to put too much pressure on one’s shoulder. For that reason, it is easier to fall than it is to rise up again and regain your mental and psychological strength.
But how do you cope with the situation? How do you maintain your positive energy? True, there are several things you can do to maintain a healthy status of mind. These activities range from taking a vacation and changing your environment to working out and eating healthy.
That being said, our focus will be on healthy food choices and how they come in handy in improving anxiety and stress levels. A growing body of evidence suggests that the gut profoundly affects anxiety and mental health symptoms. In addition to adequate treatment and therapy, changing what goes on your plate might as well as help regulate you mood.
Well, there are a variety of foods you could include in your diet for effective results. These include:
- Dark Chocolate
Love chocolate? Well, other than enjoying the delicious snack, chocolate is among one of the many ways you can reduce your stress level. Often, our bodies respond differently to stress. One of these response may make use crave for sweet things. Here is where taking a small amount of dark chocolate comes in handy.
Evidence shows the profound effects of eating dark chocolate daily. A study by Sunni and Latif found that, daily consumption of dark chocolate tends to modify metabolism, which in turn reduces levels of stress-related hormones – adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine. Besides, growing bodies of research explain how elements such as polyphenols found in chocolate have health benefits. Chocolate has been found to help with heart diseases and development of cancer.
But with all these benefits, it’s also important to regulate the amount of chocolate taken per day. Chocolate products also contain sugar and fat that may be detrimental to your health when taken in large quantities.
As delicious as they look, cherries have more benefits than you could have known. National Center of Biotechnology Information reveals that besides reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure, cherries also improve stress levels. Harvard Medical School argues that constant exposure to stress is strongly linked to hormone cortisol. In many cases, people under stress tend to crave for sweet food. When it comes to stress eating, grab a cup of sweet cherries,
Cherries come in a variety of flavors and colors – with the colors ranging from yellow to dark red. Regardless of the type you chose, be sure to benefit from the hidden vitamins, fiber, and minerals. One cup of sweet, raw cherries should contain Vitamin C, B Vitamins, copper, manganese, potassium, and 3 grams of fiber. These nutrients alone have immense health benefits, including coping with stress.
3. Blue Berries
When do blue berries come on your mind? Of course, we all tend to take berries for a variety of reasons, including reducing belly fat. But perhaps, there is another useful benefit of blue berries.
When we’re stressed and anxious, our body may crave vitamin C, and blue berries come in handy to fulfill the craving. Blueberries contain not only vitamin C but also antioxidants, which improve anxiety. A study by Ribeiro on the effects of vitamin C on anxiety linked antioxidants to anxiety reduction and prevention. If anything, taking food rich in vitamin C can be an effective remedy for anxiety and overall metal functioning
4. Chamomile Tea
As calm and tranquil as it is, the beautify chamomile flower will help your worry disappear in a snap. When it comes to anxiety and stress, it’s about time you reconsidered the types of leaves you use for your tea. The fact that chamomile tea is prepared from dried flowers makes is a kind of its own. Besides being beneficial to the immune system, the tea has a stellar healing reputation.
Chamazulene is a major ingredient in chamomile tea that proves to be beneficial to the body. It contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic properties. Whether suffering from cold or carried away by fatigue, sip a hot cup of chamomile tea, and experience the soothing effects of the tea.
Think you need a natural, gentle relaxant? Try chamomile tea and experience its sedative effects
As much as it is under-consumed, seafood has cognitive and mood enhancement properties. Foods like salmon, shellfish, sardines, and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce Triglycerides. Triglycerides are an important source of energy, and with the right amount, rest assured of improved energy levels.
A commonly known mental disorder is depression. Depressive symptoms include but not limited to sadness, loss of interest in life, lethargy, anxiety, and constant worry. That is where omega-3s come in to improve these symptoms.
Even more, omega-3 supplements can eventually improve anxiety and depression. Furthermore, an analysis by Wani and his colleagues found EPA, a type of Omega-3, to function as an antidepressant drug. With that in mind, try adding seafood in your diet to improve your energy levels.
6. Kidney Beans
What separate kidney beans from other legumes are their folate properties. A steamy cup of beans provide up to 58% of the recommended daily serving. Moreover, a study by Young including patients with depression show that folate deficiency was a major concern. folate deficiency was linked to depressed mood, which means that folate supplements can be beneficial to stress and anxiety.
That said; think you’re a lover of legumes? It’s time you gave kidney beans the benefits of the doubt. This wonderful dish will not only make you fuller with a little serving, but also ensure you have adequate folate intake. With the right amount of folate, rest assured of improved serotonin level
Rich in B vitamins, Avocado will nourish your body in several ways. Vitamin B6 is handy in making neurotransmitters, including serotonin. As we all know, serotonin is a hormone responsible for our energy levels. Likewise, vitamin B1helps is vital for a fully functioning nervous system, muscles, and heart.
The B vitamins found in Avocado, including niacin and riboflavin have a profound effect on the nervous system. Taking these vitamins in the right quantities will gradually reduce your anxiety levels. You can choose to take Avocados as a snack or salad. But in whichever way you go, get ready to enjoy the stress-relieving effects of B vitamin
8. Milk and Plain Yogurt
Consider yourself lucky is you’re lactose tolerant. Yogurt is a great drink to include in your diet. And if you experience anxiety attacks or get stressed occasionally, yogurt might be one of the solutions you need to get going.
Moreover, a study in New York found that consuming probiotic-rich yogurt twice a day for a month could help improve anxiety and stress. Probiotic foods inhibit free radicals and neurotoxins, which may damage nerve tissue in the brain, thereby leading to anxiety. Likewise, another research by UCLA’s School of Medicine in the US found that anxious individuals were able to cope with emotional pain better by consuming probiotic yogurt daily. These findings lead us to one thing – some of the content found in yogurt has the ability to change how a brain responds to the surrounding environment.
9. Whole bread
Another source of relief from mental fatigue is whole bread. Rich of whole grains, whole brain contains magnesium and tryptophan properties that are useful in improving or preventing anxiety. According to studies, stress levels are highly associated with the level of magnesium in the body. Likewise, whole wheat bread contains carbohydrate, which functions to increase serotonin level in the brain. From increased serotonin come improved mood, and so is a positive energy and better outlook towards life.
There are a variety of nuts that will go a long way in helping you develop mental strength. From Brazilian nuts to almonds and cashew nuts, experience the health benefits that come with enjoy the delicacies. Brazilian nuts alone are rich in selenium, a component that reduces inflammation, thereby improving mood. And if you are the kind that suffers mood disorders, including anxiety, these nuts are a must have in your shopping list.
However, keep in mind the amount of selenium you consume since too much of it can be fatal. National Institute of Health recommends taking up to 400 micrograms of selenium per day, if need be for better results. Otherwise, selenium is a right nutrient for anyone who prefers to report gradual improvements as far as their improving mood.
Widely used as a spice, turmeric contains properties that have been proven to improve mental disorders. Curcumin, a major component in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory compound that helps the body fight foreign elements in the body. Its strong anti-oxidant properties that tend to boost brain drive. Moreover, studies link brain disorders to lower levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a type of growth hormone in the brain. Disorders such as depression and anxiety, including Alzheimer’s disease can, however, improve by digesting curcumin.
With that in mind, make sure to include turmeric when preparing your dishes as often as possible. That way, you will not only experience low anxiety levels but also improve your memory.
While these foods are ideal for you mental health, you are not limited to what you can take to improve your anxiety levels or depressions. There are lots of foods, with the right properties and nutrients that you could incorporate in your diet for better results. Even so, remembers that there is no miracle in getting the results you want. It takes consistency and a positive mind-set to get to your preferable destination.
Moreover, food alone is barely enough to help you grow mentally and emotionally. Try other things such as socializing, exercising and connecting with your innermost self. You can still seek medical advice, including therapy where necessary to maintain your regular functioning.
Otherwise, be positive and patient with your progress. It might take a while, but will be worthwhile in the long-run.