7 Stress-Busting Foods to add to your diet today
The connection between the food we consume and our mood is proven to be strong. Research that has been gaininf increased attention as more and more studies prove how food can be used as a therapeutic tool in bettering our overall mood. Although there is less research overall on the connection between food and anxiety, there is a plethera of data that proves the need for focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods is a solution to keep us feeling less anxious and more calm. With so many of us facing higher levels of stress, healthy eating has never been more important. Keep reading for seven stress-busting foods to consider adding to your healthy eating plan TODAY.
While this is not exactly a stress-busting food, green tea is a great stress-busting beverage to consider — it makes a great alternative to that morning or afternoon cup of coffee.
L-theanine is an amino acid bundant in green tea. In a recent review of 5 randomized controlled trials, including over 100 individuals, four demonstrated that L-theanine was able to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in those experiencing situations that were more stressful.
Not a big green tea fan? Another great way to gain the stress-fighting benefits of this tea is by enjoying one of the amazing Min's Matcha teas found right in our lobby. Matcha is made through a process where the leaves are grown in the shade and then ground into powder. This process results in a more earthy flavor however Min's Matcha is less earthy and very enjoyable with its various flavors. Since the whole green tea leaf is ingested when drinking matcha, you gain the benefits of the rich L-theanine content, making matcha green tea a great beverage for reducing stress.
It's no surprise that turmeric is top on the list! We all know it for being a powerful anti-inflammatory spice, but one little-known benefit has to do with brain health, which is why it’s on the list of our favorite stress-busting foods. In a study done on animals, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, helped to boost the Omega 3 fatty acid DHA, an essential fat for our brain health. This is especially important if you aren’t consuming much fish as DHA is found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in our brain tissue, and lower levels of DHA have been linked to anxiety-like behavior.
Consider adding turmeric to your smoothies! Coah Stephanie's favorite way to enjoy turmeric is by making a yummy turmeric latte.
Turmeric Latte (also known as Golden Milk)
1 cup oat milk
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pink of black pepper
Bring oat milk and coconut milk to a boil in a small pot. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heath and stir in remaining ingrediants with a whisk until combines. Coach Stephanie prefers to us a frother to combine ingredients. Pour into a mug. Sprink with black pepper and enjoy while warm!
As mentioned above, deficiency in Omega 3 fats has been linked to higher levels of anxiety. When it comes to the research — one recent meta-analysis reviewed 19 studies with over 1,000 participants and concluded that Omega-3 fats were associated with significant reduction in anxiety symptoms.
Consider enjoying stress-busting foods that are rich in these fats like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
There is some research that suggests that both major depression and anxiety are correlated with a lowered total antioxidant state.
Berries are an incredibly rich food in antioxidants making them a perfect food to help lower and fight inflammation. Other anti-inflammatory foods include olive oil and avocados. Making these nutrient-dense, stress-busting foods a must in adding to your healthy eating plan.
Try adding berries on top of your morning bowl of oatmeal, blended into a smoothie, or enjoyed as an anti-inflammatory snack paired with a handful of nuts and seeds through out the day!
Another excuse to treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate? Yes, please! Dark chocolate is a stress-busting food that is rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant plant compound that has anti-inflammatory properties. It could be these compounds that are responsible for the brain health benefits of dark chocolate. A recent study showed that 40mg of dark chocolate a day for two weeks was able to reduce perceived stress in female medical students.
Dark chocolate is one of the more common (and tasty) foods that reduce stress, but keep in mind — not all dark chocolate is created equally having the stress-busting benefits. To get the anti-inflammatory effects, opt for unsweetened cacao or 70% or darker unsweetened dark chocolate.
A delicious tip: for a simple stress-busting smoothie hack, stir a tablespoon of cacao powder into your smoothie for a yummy on-the-go breakfast or tasty snack or add it to your morning coffee creamer!
Zinc has been linked to neurotransmitters responsible for regulating and influencing our mood, GABA and glutamate. Having lower levels of this nutrient have been linked to both depression and anxiety.
When it comes to getting zinc-rich foods into your diet, oysters will give you the most bang for your buck as they contain more zinc per serving than any other food. If you aren’t into oysters, nuts like cashews, pumpkin seeds, legumes, and red meat are also excellent sources of dietary zinc.
Leafy greens are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is a nutrient that may be a major player in anxiety-like behaviors. In another animal study using rats, dietary magnesium restriction increased and enhanced anxiety-like behavior.
Consider adding more dark leafy greens to your diet by adding a handful of spinach or kale to smoothies, adding chopped kale to veggie omelets, or Coach Joel's favorite way, adding chopped spinach to tacos!
Not a fan of 'eating' greens? Try our adding our favorite greens, Greenite to your morning routine! Grab yourself a container the next time you're in for class!