Everyone handles stressful days in their own way. Stress can affect our minds and bodies in a lot of ways, and no one likes to feel like there is a weight on their shoulders. We can do yoga, take a bath, go for a walk and read a book to help us relax, but we can also be mindful of what we are consuming to help with stress. There are many foods to reduce stress that we can incorporate into our diets. Here’s some foods that can ease unwanted stress in our lives!
Hummus may be made from chickpeas, and yes, it’s delicious – but chickpeas can do more for us than just create a dip for our pita chips. You can toss chickpeas in your salad, eat them as a dried snack, use them to imitate tuna, and much more. They are a plant-based protein and high in iron. Eating foods that lack iron can contribute to anxiety, which can be caused from stressing about something. Obviously you don’t have to eat a whole can of garbanzo beans to feel good, but incorporating a little bit of chickpeas into your diet can be a healthy way to lessen the load of what’s stressing you out.
2. Herbal Tea
When you’re feeling stressed, it’s best to avoid having coffee even if you think you need an iced latte with an extra espresso shot. Drinking hot, herbal tea is a good alternative to drinking hot coffee when you’re stressed. Peppermint and chamomile tea have natural ingredients that can help your body relax. Stress can take a toll on the body, such as stomach aches and headaches. Having a cup of peppermint tea can help ease a headache you have from stressing about that presentation you have to give to your class, and chamomile tea can help ease a stomach ache that you have from overthinking and being anxious about something. Add a drop of honey to your tea for sweetness, watch a movie, and relax.
So we know drinking a hot cup of tea can help us chill out, but what about going back to drinking warm milk nowadays? If you warm up milk, it can have a relaxing effect on the body as well. Milk is rich in calcium, which is known for being beneficial to keeping our bones strong and healthy. The right amount of calcium can also contribute to ease our anxiety and stress. Drinking some warm milk after a long, restless day may help you unwind and sleep better.
There are so many ways to include spinach in your diet. You can make a spinach caesar salad, sautéed spinach, boiled spinach, throw it in your smoothie, etc. Spinach is a superfood, and it’s versatile when it comes to making meals. It is rich in magnesium, which has health benefits on its own – such as helping with headaches and anxiety. Adding spinach into your diet can help keep your cortisol levels under control, while giving you all the nutrients of leafy greens and keep you healthy!
When we are on the go and want a snack, or to add to our breakfast, bananas are the go to fruit! We add them to our pancakes and peanut butter sandwiches, but they are also a part of foods to reduce stress in your life. Bananas contain potassium which can help us keep our blood sugar regulated, and they also have vitamins that are essential to creating serotonin. A natural, sweet snack that can help us calm down? Count me in!
Okay, I’m sure a lot of us have tried avocado toast before. We see it all the time now on Instagram stories as well on breakfast menus. Like it or not, avocados are everywhere – for good reason of course. Avocados contain B-Vitamins, which have a list of health benefits on their own, such as helping us feel less fatigued and easing our anxiety. What else can be found in avocados is fiber, which is good for monitoring cholesterol.
7. Dark Chocolate
Out of all foods to reduce stress, I think we see dark chocolate pretty often. Being able to enjoy chocolate and having it give you some kind of benefit is amazing. This doesn’t mean we should eat an entire bag of dark chocolate Hershey kisses, but eating a small amount of dark chocolate can contribute to lowering stress levels. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants which is great to hear on its own, but apparently the cocoa can help improve our mood as well as our memory!
Rich in Vitamin-C, oranges are one juicy fruit that can boost your morning breakfast. When we add a Vitamin-C serum to our skincare routine, our skin tends to look brighter and more awake. If we eat foods that contain Vitamin-C, which can help with regulating cortisol levels, we may notice that we can naturally get rid of stress and feel more refreshed.
Filled with nutrients, oats are a powerhouse for making you feel better. They contain a ton of goodness that can help produce serotonin which results in us feeling more calm. If you don’t love oatmeal, you can try out other recipes with oats, such as no bake energy balls.
Like oranges, blueberries are also filled with Vitamin-C. People find blueberries as a healthy alternative to eating a sweet snack, and that’s a good thing. Amongst other foods to reduce stress, blueberries are another fruit we should add our diet!
There is a reason that people find drinking warm water with lemon soothing, and not just when they are feeling under the weather. Like hot tea, and warm milk – warm water and lemon can help you relax. Starting your morning by drinking warm water with lemon is known to be good for you as well. Lemons are full of Vitamin-C, which we know is great for our immune system, as well helping us with stress.
12. Pumpkin Seeds
If you’re looking for a healthy, on the go snack, try some pumpkin seeds. Like many other foods to reduce stress, pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants that are all around good for the mind and body.
Since yogurt contains probiotics, you already know it can be beneficial to your overall health. If you find a yogurt that you like, that does not have added sugar, it may help in reducing stress due to having probiotics. Adding a few berries or granola to your yogurt can make for a sweet and delicious breakfast or snack!
14. Red Bell Peppers
Okay, so we know Vitamin-C is in a lot of the foods we should choose over another. Vitamin-C is also in red bell peppers, which are tasty as a snack, addition to salad, or grilled! If you’re a bigger fan of vegetables than fruits, try eating red bell peppers to reduce stress. Dip in hummus for double the nutrients!
Another superfood, quinoa, is full of protein and antioxidants. It serves as a healthy grain with benefits such as contributing to easing anxiety and stress, as well as being an overall better alternative to foods like pasta. Try adding quinoa into your salad for some extra fiber.
Not everyone enjoys the taste of grapefruit, it is a bitter, yet sweet citrus fruit. But, it’s another one of the foods to reduce stress and is full of antioxidants and can boost your metabolism. Even the smell of grapefruit is supposedly good for helping you feel less stressed!
You have probably had kidney, black or white beans in your soups, but eating them along with leafy greens is another way to reap the benefits of beans. Beans are full of protein, but they also have magnesium and vitamins packed within them, adding them to the list of foods to reduce stress.
Nuts are a snack that can be filling and good for your health. Cashews are especially nutritious, and contain B-Vitamins as well as magnesium. If you are feeling stressed, next time try a handful of cashews for a snack.
If you are dealing with stress, and enjoy having fish in your diet – good news, salmon can help with that. Salmon is an oily fish that has magnesium and protein, and can help reduce stress, while being a healthier option to have for dinner.
20. Turkey breast
One meat that can be an healthy add to your fridge is turkey breast. It contains a certain amino acid, tryptophan, which can help our bodies with creating serotonin. With this being said, turkey breast can be considered one of the foods to reduce stress.