If you know me well, you will know I believe that Food is Medicine and so even for our emotional concerns such as prolonged stress, food can be used as an antidote to help our bodies heal and rebound. You will want to include in your diet foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, L-tryptophan, melatonin, calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and selenium among others.
Here are 8 of my favorite stress relieving foods that you can include in your stress management routine.
Who knew stress management could be so delicious! Blueberries contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids and neuroprotective properties that help reduce inflammation and cellular damage resulting from stress and also promote healing.
In addition to the fiber, vitamins and minerals inherent in oatmeal, it is also high in melatonin which helps relax the body and combat stress.
Pineapple is a great addition to the diet of someone who is combating stress because of it’s melatonin-boosting properties. In addition, it also boosts immunity and is great for digestive issues which are also often a result of stress.
Turmeric is a root, similar to ginger which is used as a spice in my kitchen regularly and also for immune boosting shots. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, works to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress which tends to be high in persons who are experiencing mood disorders.
- Garbanzo beans/ Chickpeas
Chickpeas contain magnesium, selenium, B vitamins and L-tryptophan among others all of which help regulate moods and boost brain health. See this post for my Garbanzo Bean Curry which also includes turmeric.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are well known as beneficial to health, lowering the risk of certain chronic conditions. It can also lower the risk of mental disorders and provide antidepressant effects.
Include chamomile tea as part of your bedtime routine to help relax the body and promote more restful sleep. Valerian Root is another good addition of a herb that can be used for stress reduction.
I use tahini (made from sesame seeds) for many recipes. It’s great to note that it’s also an amazing source of L-tryptophan which is an amino acid that has been proven to improve mood, decrease anxiety and depression
To your health,
Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD