Add these 10 stress relieving foods
The foods we eat directly affect our mood. Micronutrients support the body's chemical functions and production of hormones and neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, Serotonin and Melatonin.
Dopamine, coined the Happy Hormone is what makes you feel good. Dopamine is responsible for supporting motivation, the reward system, memory and reinforcement of pleasure and positive experiences. Studies show Dopamine's effects on mood and anxiety. (1) (2)
Serotonin is the Mood Hormone as it plays a primary role in regulating emotions, stress, anxiety, sleep and appetite control. When considering the intimate gut-brain connection, the gut contributes to approximately 90% of the body's Serotonin production. Therefore, a healthy gut supports better mood. (3) (4) (5)
Melatonin is the Sleep Hormone as it regulates the body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Better sleep not only helps to alleviate stress and anxiety, good sleep also supports the regulation of appetite hormones. (6) (7) (8)
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is more commonly known for its benefits on heart health and inflammation. However, Omega 3 also plays an important role in brain health and studies have shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety (9) (10) (11)
L-Theanine is a non-protein amino acid found to increase relaxation and help you unwind. Commonly found in tea, L-Theanine has a direct effect on the brain's alpha frequency, these frequency waves are produced during times of relaxation, which can reduce stress levels and help you feel calmer. (12) (13)
Stress relieving nutrients
Add these 10 stress relieving foods to your everyday nutrition to ease stress and anxiety, improve sleep and support better mood!
Matcha - matcha powder, green tea
Fatty fish - salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, anchovy
Whole grains - oats and brown rice, pasta and bread
Beans and lentils - black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils
Eggs - whole egg, egg yolk
Nuts and seeds - almonds, cashews, walnuts, hemp seed, chia seed, pumpkin seed
Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket
Fermented foods - kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir, tempeh
Apples and berries - any fruits are good too
Dark leafy greens - spinach, collard greens, kale, bok choy, chard
L-Theanine is an amino acid found to increase relaxation and help you unwind. High concentrations are found in matcha, a potent form of green tea. Enjoy in a latte or add to baked goods.
Alongside Magnesium, B-vitamins, particularly B6, Folate and B12 are essential for stress control with their role in the production of neurotransmitters like Dopamine, Melatonin and Serotonin which help to improve better mood, emotions and sleep. Add some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, whole grains like brown rice and beans and legumes.
Prebiotics and probiotics support a healthy gut, supporting the body’s gut-brain communication pathways and production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Add some fibre rich foods like apples, berries, oats and fermented foods like kimchi to nourish your gut’s friendly bacteria.
Omega 3, an essential fatty acid, has shown to improve mood and may help to reduce stress and anxiety. Add some fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines as well nuts and seeds like hemp and chia seeds.
The Bottom Line
Adding more whole natural foods that are nutrient rich will support the many important functions in the body to manage stress, mood balance and support overall wellness.
If food and nutrition is causing you stress and you would like personalised coaching to improve your relationship with food - Book a complimentary call with Elly today.
To find out more about how to incorporate these foods in your everyday eating, download the free Healthy Eating Ebook, designed to set you up for success with eating healthier, teach you how to take control of your daily habits and learn how to apply nutrition in a meaningful way.