Many people are always on the run today, trying to solve smaller or larger problems, juggling with loaded schedules, making slalom through traffic and generally striving to maintain a balance in personal, professional, and family life.
Even in days or nights less agitated, cortisol levels may remain high, because we fail to manage stress effectively and relax enough. Here are 9 foods that calm your mind and body.
High levels of cortisol pose health risks. One of these is that it triggers food cravings, because of which we can wake up emptying the box with ice cream or eating a chocolate candy. The same cortisol can stimulate the secretion of an enzyme in the fat cells to turn cortisone into more cortisol.
Abdominal fat cells have more cortisol receptors than other regular cells, which means that excess cortisol hormones can turn into abdominal fat, which in turn may increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
There are 9 foods that calm your mind and body and that can restore the state of calm in your life. And it’s not about foods that make you feel good, for which we call for emotional comfort and that only provide a state of well-being on the short-term. Moreover, this type of foods will trigger a state of guilt or anger after we’ve emptied an ice cream box or a bag of chips.
These calming foods are foods that have the ability to calm down because of their nutritional content (folate, for example, which is an excellent element of stress reduction) or because of the slow release of energy.
It’s about foods that help us restore our internal balance and reduce stress. Find creative ways to include this type of foods in your daily diet and enjoy their flavor.
These noble strains are rich in folat. A study on 2,608 adults found that those who consumed foods rich in folate had the lowest risk of depression compared to those who consumed foods with the lowest folate content.
Avocados, in addition to having the highest folate content of all fruits, also contain healthy fats and strong antioxidants such as glutathione, lutein, beta carotene, and vitamin E, which fight free radicals.
Even if they are high in calories, just a few slices in a sandwich or salad (one with green leafy vegetables, which also have a calming effect) are enough to exert their influence in reducing stress!
- Forest Fruits
Forest fruits are a rich source of vitamin C, well-known for their ability to relieve stress.
For example, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 500 mg of vitamin C reduced anxiety in high school students.
Another study has shown that vitamin C has had positive effects on the anxiety of type 2 diabetes patients.
- Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is a safe and tested stress reduction tea.
Two studies conducted by the University of Pennsylvania illustrate this benefit. In the initial study of 2009, 57 adults suffering from anxiety or depression received chamomile or placebo for 8 weeks and the results clearly showed an anti-anxiety benefit to those who drank the tea.
In a follow-up study in 2012, the researchers found that chamomile had an antidepressant effect, in addition to reducing anxiety.
- Dark chocolate
Many will feel happy seeing dark chocolate on this list.
It seems that, in addition to making us feel good, dark chocolate contributes to increasing serotonin levels and reduces blood pressure, being rich in two categories of antioxidants, flavonols and polyphenols.
The key word about dark chocolate is moderation, being healthy only if consumed less frequently and in small quantities.
- Fermented foods
Healthy intestines means a lighter mind. This is due to the direct relationship between two important regions of the body, brain and intestinal axis.
Thus, fermented foods that are sources of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) can have a direct impact on the chemical composition of the brain through the vagus nerve.
A recent Canadian review (September 2016) noted that ‘psychological benefits have been noticed as a result of probiotic supplements’. The best sources of probiotics are home-made fermented vegetables, kefir, yogurt, and pickled cabbage made in the house.
- Vegetables with green leaves
Kale, spinach, rucola, mustard leaves, and other green leafy vegetable are excellent sources of folate and magnesium, another nutrient with soothing effects.
You can make a salad from green leafy vegetables, asparagus, and some avocado slices for a super-soothing snack!
Oatmeal it is said to reduce stress in two ways:
- because it is cheap and does not require much preparation time
- because it stimulates the brain to produce a calming neurotransmitter, called serotonin.
Enjoy an oatmeal bowl with a handful of berries and you will benefit from a double effect of stress relieving.
Seeds of chia, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and sesame are all rich in magnesium, a precursor to serotonin.
Studies show that magnesium deficiency is associated with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Neuroscience shows that magnesium has been associated with decreased symptoms of depression.
Another study conducted on 5,708 adults demonstrated the link between magnesium deficiency and depression.
Spread a few seeds over green leafy vegetables salad, mix them in oatmeal, add them in smoothie, or enjoy them as a snack!
In conclusion, these 9 foods that calm your mind and body are tasty and can be mixed together to create recipes of very powerful ingredients that combat stress and anxiety.
I am a young woman, a mother of two beautiful kids, and I am passionate about reading and writing. I am a flexible writer, with huge experience on topics related to health, babies and kids, lifestyle, fashion, IT&Tech, relationships, and world’s mysteries.
Armed with my articles as weapons against wrongness, I hope to help people living a better and healthier life, and I’ll always be a militant for justice, trying to teach people about what is good and what is wrong.