Unfortunately, stress is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it control your life.
On your most anxiety-filled days, you might reach for a bag of chips or a slice of pizza. But scientific evidence shows that traditional comfort foods really aren’t all that comforting to the human body and mind. One set of researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, for example, found that high-sugar and high-fat foods even weaken the body’s ability to deal with stress over the long-term.
Fortunately for stressed-out, health-conscious eaters, there are many natural foods that can actually fight stress and reset your mood. These are a few of our favorite stress-fighting foods to keep stocked in the kitchen for your next chaotic day.
Berries, and blueberries in particular, are packed with an important antioxidant called anthocyanin. Not only that, but blueberries are also rich in magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C, which the human body needs to fight off stress and anxiety. These nutrients can also help ensure a restful sleep at night.
Researchers in Germany found that people with diets rich in vitamin C didn’t experience the expected symptoms of physical and mental stress when challenged with complex math problems. Pop some blueberries into your morning cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt to fight stress before it hits you during the workday!
Another great stress-fighting food is garlic, which may have a reputation for causing bad breath but does wonders for the heart and central nervous system. Garlic is full of antioxidants that prevent cell damage and aging, as well as allicin, which has been linked to fighting serious diseases.
Over time, prolonged stress breaks down your immune system, but garlic can help build it back up again. Dice and sauté garlic in extra virgin olive oil or broth to boost the health factor of your stir-fry and vegetable dishes.
There’s just something satisfying about munching on something crunchy when you’re stressed out. But before you grab that bag of chips or box of cheese crackers, consider healthier alternatives that are out there.
Almonds are a wonderful stress-fighting food because they’re rich in zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E, among other nutrients. Nuts, like almonds and cashews too, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved mood in medical studies. Keep a bag in your desk drawer for those unexpectedly stressful days.
Similarly, there’s just something soothing about sipping a cup of herbal tea on a stressful day, but it’s what in the tea that really packs that stress-fighting punch. Green tea is well-known for its health benefits because it contains powerful antioxidants. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that drinking green tea results in a lower risk of overall cognitive impairment.
However, other types of tea are great for fighting stress too. Chamomile tea is often recommended to ease the mind and promote sleep. Our Olive Leaf Mint Tea contains calming peppermint and olive leaf extract to help soothe your worries away.
And those are just a few of the many delicious natural foods that can keep you calm, centered, and grounded every day. Here are some more stress-fighting foods to stock up on, and some of them might surprise you!
- Dark chocolate
- Goji berries