Are you stressed out?
You’re definitely not alone. While many people struggle with managing stress, there are a multitude of ways to improve its hold on you and your life!
According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association in February of this year, 48% of parents in the U.S. reported an increase in stress since the start of the pandemic with 46% of Gen-Z adults reporting a significant decline in their mental health state since February 2020. The pandemic has made life incredibly challenging for a number of people in a number of ways, and even though it can easily feel isolated and unsupported in times like this, know that it is entirely normal to feel stressed out given the circumstances.
Managing stress is much easier said than done, but with the right tools, you can be much better prepared to get through stressful situations much easier. Continuous stress can lead to mental, physical, and emotional pain, manifesting as chronic headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, sleep issues, digestive issues, mood swings, mental fog, and much more. To live a happy and healthy life, managing stress in a healthy way is imperative, which is why we are excited to share these 9 foods that can help to relieve stress!
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Though these berries are small, they are packed with an essential nutrient that does wonders for stress management: Vitamin C! Not only do the antioxidants found in blueberries help provide the body what it needs to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety as they happen, but research also shows blueberries can be useful in preventing stress and anxiety, as well!
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One of the most popular foods of the past decade, avocados have garnered quite the reputation among healthy-food enthusiasts. This green superfood is rich in B vitamins that aid the brain in building neurological connections and improving cognitive function, meaning avocados can help provide your brain the tools it needs to reframe your perception and manage stress better. Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats that are known to reduce blood pressure, a symptom that plays a large role in anxiety and stress!
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Not only is oatmeal a hearty and fibrous breakfast choice perfect for clammy, foggy mornings, but it’s a great food to relieve stress, too! A cozy bowl of oatmeal is shown to increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that helps us feel comfortable and happy, as well as decrease cortisol and adrenaline levels to keep you in a happy and healthy state!
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Similar to oatmeal, salmon can also help to increase levels of serotonin because of its rich levels of omega-3 fatty acids. One of the best sources of this nutrient, salmon helps to nourish the brain while minimizing the effect of stress hormones on the brain and body.
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Ever heard that a warm cup of milk can help guide someone to sleep? It’s not entirely unfounded! Milk actually contains a protein known as lactium which has a lot of calming properties. Like oatmeal, it helps to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels and get the body to a calm and relaxed state. Once in this state, it’s much easier to fall asleep! Luckily, a good amount of restful sleep is the best way to keep stress levels in check, since that is when the body processes everything! A nice and charming cup of warm milk may be a great go to for anyone that feels their stress creeping up before bed!
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Whether you realize it or not, your body is storing stress at all times. Sometimes, that stress can get stuck in some weird places that can make everyday living uncomfortable. One of those places in the jaw which can lead to frequent, painful headaches! Popcorn is a great snack for people that struggle with mindless eating or salt cravings, but it’s also great for stress relief since it helps to release tension stuck in the jaw muscles!
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A delicious treat to steer clear of sweets in times of high-stress, yogurt is a great food for easing anxieties! Rich in probiotics, yogurt can be helpful to balance gut health as well as reduce the impact of emotional activity in the brain, leaving you less overwhelmed and making it easier to relax! And truth be told, there’s no better way to eat a parfait.
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Just like avocados, nuts are rich in B vitamins that can be difficult to find elsewhere. If you are looking for a quick and easy snack to carry around throughout the day and have on hand to help ease the stress of daily life, a bag of mixed nuts is a much more practical option than carrying around an avocado!
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Probably the best food on the list, dark chocolate is a great food for managing stress! In moderation, the nutrients within dark chocolate can help to improve brain function to minimize the impacts of stress as well as increase memory retention! Plus, it’s delicious!
When it comes to managing stress, what works for some may not work for others. It’s imperative to explore and find what works for you and to lean on your support system in times of need. Food is not the only tool that should be used in stress management, but it can be helpful to some! Be sure to use these stress relieving foods alongside other methods of stress management to prevent overload and burnout, and if you ever have questions or concerns about your stress levels, make sure to speak with a professional such as your doctor or a licenced therapist.
We hope you enjoy this article for 9 Stress-Relieving Foods to Try Today. If you tried incorporating these things into your regular routine, make sure to let us know! For more recipes, follow us on social media and make sure to check out our weekly blog posts where we share our new favorite recipes and must-know facts about food and living a healthy lifestyle! Check out the other meal options Mealfit provides such as our Weekly Specials, Individual Meals, and other Meals by the Pound.