8 Stress-Reducing Foods that You Should Add to Your Diet

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8 Stress-Reducing Foods that You Should Add to Your Diet

Whether it’s a deadline at work, moving into a new home, relationship or financial issues, a stressful situation can cause a series of reactions in the body. The adrenal glands release cortisol to naturally cope with stressful circumstances. Cortisol affects your mood, appetite, immunity and blood pressure and causes unnecessary strain on the body. Stress can increase the desire to eat even you are not hungry. It’s so tempting to reach for comfort foods when you are feeling stressed out that may make you feel good at the moment, but they can be more dangerous for your body.  Therefore, it is important to control binge eating during stressful times.

So, next time when you are in a stressful condition, don’t reach for a bag of chips, chocolate, pizza, French fries, or any other unhealthy food, go for healthy and nutritious foods instead. Besides stress management, these healthy foods are also good for your waistline. Try these super healthy and nutrient-dense foods for stress relief and say bye to stress.

Stress-Reducing Foods

  1. Avocado
  2. Yoghurt
  3. Nuts
  4. Spinach
  5. Blueberries
  6. Salmon
  7. Milk
  8. Oranges

1. Avocado

Give your morning a healthy start with avocado toast that is highly nutritious and good for anxiety. This superfood is loaded with vitamin B complex that prevents stress while maintaining a perfect balance among neurotransmitters. Many studies suggest that vitamin B complex is good for brain health and its deficiency is linked to different mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Try these Avocado recipes and give your day a stress-free start.

  • Avocado Tuna Melt
  • Autumn Avocado Toast
  • Avocado Toast with Hummus
  • Avocado Toast with Heirloom Tomato and Balsamic Drizzle
  • Avocado Toast with Heirloom Tomato and Balsamic Drizzle
  • Sweet Mango Avocado Toast
  • Avocado Toast with Whipped Feta and Pomegranate Relish
  • Toasted Avocado Tartine With Cumin Salt and Chia Seeds

2. Yoghurt

Next time you are feeling stress, don’t go for chocolate, potato chips, pizza or ice cream, enjoy calcium-rich, nonfat yoghurt. Sprinkle some nuts and fresh fruits that will turn it into an ultra-addictive and super healthy snack. Several studies show that eating foods that are loaded with probiotics are really good for your brain health. A study conducted on people with chronic stress who consumed probiotic yoghurt showed a positive change in their behaviour and were better able to cope with stress.

3. Nuts

Almonds, pistachios, cashews, and walnuts are loaded with B vitamins that can perfectly manage your neurotransmitters and help you deal with the fight and flight stress response. In addition, nuts also contain potassium that plays a key role in reducing the strain stress puts on your heart. They are an excellent source of magnesium, an important mineral that plays a significant role in stabilizing energy and regulating the nervous system. So, whenever you are feeling stress, anxious, grab some nuts and get a healthy dose of potassium, magnesium, vitamin B and other nutrients to boost your mood.

4. Spinach

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is loaded with stress-reducing mineral magnesium, B vitamins, and other important nutrients. It is an important mineral that plays an integral role in regulating cortisol and blood pressure. Spinach also contains folate that has mood-boosting properties. It releases serotonin hormone which has a calming effect. From salads to pasta and sandwiches, you can make hundreds of thousands of delicious recipes from this nutrient-dense, healthy green vegetable.

Here are some flavourful ways to use spinach.

  • Lentil salad with beets and spinach
  • One-pot pasta with spinach and tomatoes
  • Cream curried spinach
  • Feta-quinoa cakes with spinach
  • Spinach, hummus and bell pepper wraps
  • Zucchini and spinach chilaquiles
  • Spinach pesto pasta with shrimp
  • Roasted red pepper and pine nut salad
  • Sausage, spinach and apple sandwich
  • Cheesy chicken and spinach Stromboli ring
  • Pesto chicken with blistered tomatoes
  • Creamed spinach with hazelnuts
  • Salmon and spinach salad
  • Chicken and butternut gnocchi
  • Spinach, bacon, gruyere breakfast strata
  • Spinach walnut pesto
  • Sausage and spinach spaghetti pie
  • Spinach, cheese and bacon bread puddings
  • Spinach and arugula salad with creamy parmesan dressing
  • Spaghetti squash lasagna with spinach

5. Blueberries

Blueberries are high in nutrients and low in calories that have an incredible property to deal with stress. They are rich in antioxidants, fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese that can provide anxiety relief and boost your immunity. Basically, the antioxidants and phytonutrients are responsible for improving your body’s response to fight against stress-related free radicals. Besides reducing stress, this incredibly nutritious anxiety buster food can boost your heart health, improve memory, maintain brain function, treat diabetes, lower blood pressure, and control blood cholesterol levels.

There are many creative and healthy ways to incorporate blueberries into your diet plan. You can make smoothies with blueberries to give your body an instant energy boost. You can make salads with this superfood, and eat as a snack, dinner or dessert. The possibilities are endless; here are some nutritious and flavour-packed ideas to consume blueberries.

Here are some creative blueberry recipes that you can try to make the most of this nutrient-dense superfood.

  • Star-Studded Blueberry Pie
  • Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops
  • Lemon-Blueberry Biscuits
  • White Balsamic Blueberry, Corn and Feta Salad
  • Mini Blueberry Tarts
  • Blueberry-Blackberry Rustic Tart
  • Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
  • Cape Cod Blueberry Pie
  • Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette
  • Slow-Cooked Blueberry Grunt
  • Luscious Blueberry Jam
  • Glazed Lemon Blueberry Muffins
  • Lemon-Blueberry Pound Cake
  • Blueberry Romaine Salad
  • Blueberry French Toast
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
  • Blueberry Lemon Trifle
  • Blueberry Fruit Smoothie
  • Blueberry Banana Bread
  • Spinach Blueberry Salad
  • Blueberry Lattice Bars
  • Rhubarb-Blueberry Crumble

6. Salmon

Salmon is one of the best anti-stress foods that have an anti-inflammatory property and may help counteract the negative effects of anxiety hormones. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that are good for your brain health, reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety and produce an overall calming and relaxing state. If you are dealing with stress and anxiety, make sure to add salmon to your daily diet.

You can get a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids by trying these delicious pan-fried, poached and baked salmon recipes.

  • Baked Salmon
  • Pan-Fried Salmon
  • Maple Bacon Salmon
  • Lemony Grilled Salmon
  • Asian BBQ Grilled Salmon
  • Broiled Salmon
  • Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon
  • Slow-Cooker Salmon
  • Blackened Salmon Tacos
  • Salmon Steaks
  • Creamy Coconut Lime Salmon
  • Baked Pineapple Salmon
  • Tuscan Butter Salmon

7. Milk

Another stress buster that can ease anxiety and mood swings is a glass of low-fat, skimmed milk. A glass of warm milk can provide you with a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamin B2, B12, protein, vitamin D, and calcium that can help relieve muscle spasm. Milk contains mood-balancing amino acids that can produce soothing effects and boost your mood. Try drinking a glass of milk before bedtime to bring on more restful sleep and help keep stress levels in check.

8. Oranges

Oranges and other citrus fruits such as grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C that has an incredible property to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C can lower the levels of cortisol and blood pressure during stressful conditions. Have an orange as an evening snack to fight against stress hormones.

Try these super easy and delicious orange recipes to get a healthy dose of vitamin C.

  • Orange Cheesecake Breakfast Rolls
  • Orange Beef Lettuce Wraps
  • Orange Spritz Cookies
  • Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey
  • Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread
  • Orange Ricotta Pancakes
  • Orange-Glazed Pork Loin
  • Orange-Glazed Pork with Sweet Potatoes
  • Tilapia with Citrus Sauce
  • Cranberry Orange Scones

A Word From Explore Diet

Reducing stress can be extremely easy by making a few healthy changes to your diet. Because what you eat may help you combat stress level and relieve your tension. Adding these super healthy stress reducing foods to your diet can keep your mind and body in good health while allowing you to lead a happy, healthy life. So, when you are stressed out, eat these superfoods to cope with anxiety and stress.

Saher Naseem is a health writer who writes about nutrition, fitness, weight loss strategies, skincare, health and wellness. Her writing is mainly focused on delicious recipes and sustainable approach to eating well and losing weight. She follows a gluten-free diet and finds herself making meaty, gluten-free recipes to please herself.

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