Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

10 Foods You Should Eat to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Popular

In stressful situations, it’s easy to turn toward food to deal with emotions. Unfortunately, the foods we’re drawn to when we’re stressed are usually very high in fat and carbs.

When you’re in the moment, feeling all those negative emotions swirling around, it sure can feel like a box of cookies or a bag of chips might make it all go away. And sure, eating those types of foods might distract you and make you feel good temporarily, but all that sugar could potentially exacerbate your negative feelings and make it even more difficult for you to cope with symptoms of stress and anxiety.

You’ll want to start replacing some of those comfort foods with the following list of healthy and more effective foods instead.

There are certainly healthier choices you can make that can boost those “feel good” chemicals in your brain while also lowering stress hormones. Unless you’re fine with getting stuck in an endless loop of relying on comfort foods to treat negative emotions that only become worse with every craving and binge, you’ll want to start replacing some of those comfort foods with the following list of healthy and more effective foods instead.

1. Spinach

It may be the complete opposite of what you’re craving, but spinach and other leafy greens are rich in magnesium—a mineral that’s essential in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is used to help prevent anxiety and also treat ADHD. All you need is one cup of spinach to start reaping the benefits of this mineral’s natural stress-fighting power.

2. Whole grains

All carbohydrates trigger the brain to produce serotonin—one of those feel-good hormones that helps balance out your mood, sexual desires, appetite, sleep, memory and more. To naturally boost your serotonin levels, choose healthy whole grain breads, brown rice and oatmeal for a little more stress relief.

3. Avocados

Potassium naturally helps to lower blood pressure and just half of an avocado contains more of it than one medium banana. You’ll also be nourishing your body with healthy B-vitamins, monosaturated fat and fiber when you incorporate avocados into your diet.

4. Oranges

Oranges are full of vitamin C, which lowers cortisol and blood pressure while also giving the immune system a bit of a boost. According to the University of Maryland, large doses of vitamin C has been proven to reduce both physical and mental responses to stress.

Read page 1

5. Salmon

Wild salmon is such an important food source for its powerful omega-3 fatty acids. It helps prevent stress hormones from rising and fights inflammation, keeping both your brain and body healthy so your anxiety level can stay on the lower end.

6. Nuts

Nuts like pistachios and walnuts are rich in healthy fats and lots of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B21 and vitamin E, which help give the immune system a boost. These nutrients may help strengthen you and lift you up when you’re more likely to feel stressed, anxious or even depressed.

7. Yogurt

According to WebMD, a diet that incorporates probiotic foods (like certain types of yogurt) has been show to change the body’s response to stress and anxiety. Gastrointestinal problems often come hand in hand with anxiety and probiotics can help reduce inflammation in the gut to bring some relief.

8. Chia seeds or Sunflower seeds

Chia seeds and sunflower seeds contain tryptophan—an animo acid that triggers the release of serotonin in the brain and promotes feelings of calmness and sometimes even sleepiness. Some research has shown that it can help reduce anxiety.

9. Asparagus

Low levels of folate may be partly to blame for feeling more anxious and even a little depressed. Asparagus is very rich in folate and all you need is one cup of it to give you two-thirds of your recommended daily value.

10. Dark chocolate

Is it really any secret that chocolate is known to release those feel-good chemicals in our brains? Besides the fact that it pretty much falls into the traditional comfort food category and tastes really good, research has shown that it can actually help calm you down too.

Sticking to a healthy diet is good for more reasons than just helping you to cope better with stress and anxiety. If your symptoms persist or if you suspect that they could be linked to something else, remember to consult your doctor to find out if you need alternative treatments that extend beyond changing your diet.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

What You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet

Is the Chemical Acrylamide in Coffee Harmful to Your Health?

5 Non-Stick Pans That Won’t Give You Cancer

The Truth About Gluten: Is it Healthy for Me?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

More than 1,000 people were told to evacuate their homes when a wildfire ignited in the foothills west of Denver Monday, Colorado Public Radio reported.

Read More Show Less

Accessibility to quality health care has dropped for millions of Americans who lost their health insurance due to unemployment. mixetto / E+ / Getty Images

Accessibility to quality health care has dropped for millions of Americans who lost their health insurance due to unemployment. New research has found that 5.4 million Americans were dropped from their insurance between February and May of this year. In that three-month stretch more Americans lost their coverage than have lost coverage in any entire year, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
Heat waves are most dangerous for older people and those with health problems. Global Jet / Flickr / CC by 2.0

On hot days in New York City, residents swelter when they're outside and in their homes. The heat is not just uncomfortable. It can be fatal.

Read More Show Less
Nearly 250 U.S. oil and gas companies are expected to file for bankruptcy by the end of next year. Joshua Doubek / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

Fracking companies are going bankrupt at a rapid pace, often with taxpayer-funded bonuses for executives, leaving harm for communities, taxpayers, and workers, the New York Time reports.

Read More Show Less
Trump introduces EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler during an event to announce changes to the National Environmental Policy Act, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Jan. 9, 2020 in Washington, DC. The changes would make it easier for federal agencies to approve infrastructure projects without considering climate change. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A report scheduled for release later Tuesday by Congress' non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds that the Trump administration undervalues the costs of the climate crisis in order to push deregulation and rollbacks of environmental protections, according to The New York Times.

Read More Show Less
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA), and AASA, The School Superintendents Association, voiced support for safe reopening measures. www.vperemen.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA

By Kristen Fischer

It's going to be back-to-school time soon, but will children go into the classrooms?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) thinks so, but only as long as safety measures are in place.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Critics charge the legislation induces poor communities to sell off their water rights. Pexels

By Eoin Higgins

Over 300 groups on Monday urged Senate leadership to reject a bill currently under consideration that would incentivize communities to sell off their public water supplies to private companies for pennies on the dollar.

Read More Show Less