This is Part 4 of the four-part series on stress-reducing foods, and is related to a previous article, My Diet is Making Me Anxious? discussing the links among diet, inflammation and mood disorders, specifically anxiety. If you missed any of the previous parts of the series, you can find them here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
As you now likely know, our diets are a major component of our lifestyle and can contribute significantly to the development of stress and anxiety. They can, however, also lessen stress and anxiety, especially if we include foods that naturally reduce stress, increase immunity and create more balance. The final five stress-reducing foods are listed here:
16. Salmon – Diets rich in Omega-3 fatty acids help keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense. Salmon is one of the very BEST sources of Omega-3s! Go for the wild-caught variety where possible. Tuna and sardines are also good sources.
17. Spinach, Swiss Chard & Other Leafy Greens – Believe it or not, leafy greens can have a comforting effect. They are packed with magnesium, the mineral that helps regulate the body’s stress hormones, like cortisol, and promote feelings of well-being. Too little magnesium can also cause headaches and fatigue.
18. Turkey – Everyone knows that turkey can make you sleepy. That’s because turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan signals the brain to release the feel-good chemical serotonin, which promotes calmness and even tiredness.
19. Walnuts – These babies have been proven to provide a bit of a cognitive edge. They contain alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid, and other polyphenols that have been shown to help prevent memory loss. Research studies have also shown that animals who ingested walnuts even reversed some signs of brain aging! Wow!
20. Herbal Supplements – Like St John’s Wort, which can help with mild anxiety/depression. Valerian Root can also be helpful for anxiety. Sam-e works great for depression. Make sure to consult your health care provider before taking any herbal supplements.
Hopefully through this series you’ve gotten some new ideas on ways to incorporate stress-reducing foods into your life. If you’re struggling with anxiety and feel you may benefit from further assistance and support beyond dietary changes, please contact me here. I’d really like to help!