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9 Stress Relieving Foods to Help You Have a Stress-Free Day!

Dr. Mehreen Zaman Niazi

3 min read

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Most people crave “comfort food” when they are stressed out. However, foods like ice cream, coffee, Chinese take-out, and diet soda can actually make your stress worse. So, steer clear of these stress-inducing foods and eat stress relieving foods instead to combat stress levels. Ideally, you should eat foods that stabilize your emotional response. Here we describe some foods that reduce stress that can alter your hormones and brain chemistry to help you deal with stress.

1- Spinach:

When you are stressed out, your brain starts making more stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, and less neurotransmitters related to happiness and relaxation, such as serotonin and adrenaline. Studies have shown that if your body is deficient in folic acid, the production of S-adenosyl methionine, a compound that helps produce dopamine and serotonin, is suppressed. The happy hormone levels can be reinstated by increasing folic acid levels. It is recommended that you aim to consume nearly three cups of spinach a day to fulfill almost half of your daily folate requirements. Other good sources of folate include asparagus, beans, lentils, chickpeas, broccoli, and avocado.

2- Oatmeal:

Most people reach for sweet, high carb treats such as donuts when they are stressed out. Carbs help your brain make serotonin, the same substance that antidepressants regulate. However, instead of reaching for something doused in sugar, pick complex carbs. Stress causes your blood sugar to rise and complex carbs such as oatmeal will prevent it from spiking further.

3- Olive Oil:

Stress often causes your blood pressure to increase and you can counteract it by eating two tablespoons of olive oil a day as it has been shown to decrease systolic blood pressure. Consumption of olive oil can also boost the production of the happy hormone serotonin. Look for extra virgin olive oil as it has a higher level of phenols which reduce oxidative damage in the body.

4- Salmon:

Animal-based omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA can promote your emotional well-being. They are found in sardines, anchovies, and salmon. Omega 3 can reduce anxiety. Research has also shown that omega 3 fats work like antidepressants to prevent symptoms of depression. Omega 3 also makes it easier for serotonin to move through cell membranes and proliferate. It also decreases inflammation, which is a side effect of stress.

5- Strawberries:

Strawberries are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that can help people cope with stress. Vitamin C supplements have also been shown to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

6- Blueberries:

Blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins that help the brain produce dopamine, a chemical that elevates mood.

7 – Eggs

One great source of vitamin D are egg yolks. You can always get in touch with the best gastroenterologist in Karachi to confirm that eggs will work for you.

They are also a source of proteins, containing all the fundamental amino acids needed by the body for growth and development.

Eggs also contain the amino acid that helps in the creation of serotonin, named tryptophan. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter. It aids in controlling mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. It is also known to boost brain function and alleviate anxiety.

8- Dark chocolate

One of the better foods that reduce stress is dark chocolate. It is known to help in reducing stress and anxiety, according to experts. In 2014 a study done on female students that showed that about 40g of dark chocolate helped reduce anticipated anxiety in the subjects.

Dark chocolate or cocoa has been found to improve mood in other studies. Nonetheless, these studies are mostly observational, and therefore the results need to be understood with caution.

Dark chocolate is a rich source of polyphenols, especially flavonoids. But it is still unclear about the way that dark chocolate reduces stress. According to a study, neuroinflammation and cell death in the brain might be reduced by flavonoids. They might also boost blood flow.

Magnesium is also found in chocolate, which has been known to reduce symptoms of depression if taken in enough amount, either in the diet or through supplements.

9- Chamomile

Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and relaxant properties. Therefore, globally it is used by many people as an herbal remedy.

The flavonoids found in the chamomile are, believed by some, the reason for its relaxant and anti-anxiety properties. Even though it was showed in a study that chamomile did reduce anxiety symptoms, it did not avert new episodes of anxiety.

Chamomile tea is easily available and safe to be taken in high quantities. It may be helpful in controlling anxiety.

When you are stressed out it his highly advised to abstain from eating junk food as the combo of junk food and stress can be unhealthy. Rather, to stabilize blood sugar, alleviate tension, and relieve stress, eat healthy foods.

Avoid eating unhealthy foods when you are stressed out as the combination of stress and junk food can be dangerous. Choose healthier foods that reduce stress instead to stabilize blood sugar, relieve tension, and fight the bad emotions.

If you have been under a lot of stress lately and find it hard to cope with it, it is recommended that you visit a specialist doctor and get help. You can book an appointment with a top Psychiatrist in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad through oladoc.com. You can also call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your health concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Mehreen Zaman Niazi - Author Dr. Mehreen Zaman Niazi is a Hepatologist practicing in Lahore. With MBBS, FCPS (Gastroenterology) and 10 years of experience in the field, she offers sound medical advice and services to patients for a range of medical conditions.
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