How to reduce stress by adding these foods to your diet

How to reduce Stress with these Foods

Eat your way to a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life as we show you how to reduce stress by getting foods that contain these minerals, chemicals & vitamins into your diet.

Food can dramatically affect the way we feel including how happy we are, how stressed we feel and our mood so by being smart with what you eat and by having a healthy diet we can reduce anxiety and stress and therefore begin to feel more relaxed.

Below we’ve put together a list of eight minerals, vitamins and chemicals that are contained in many readily available food types.

We have listed a range of foods for each so hopefully if you don’t like one there will be others that fit your taste.

We’ve also listed a selection of healthy, scrummy recipes to help you get those foods into your diet.

1. Selenium

A deficiency in selenium can lead to an increase of anxiety and depression, not a lot of this mineral is needed and as this mineral is found in nuts especially Brazil nuts, just one or two a day can make a difference. It can also be found in…

Selenium along with tryptophan helps you remain cool and calm. Shrimps are an excellent food , providing large amounts of selenium plus omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12. The cholesterol contained in shrimps has been found to be good for you. Lobsters and fish are an option to shrimps to give variety to your diet.

Recipe Idea –  Salmon en Papillote with Roasted Potatoes

Picture ‘A Couple Cooks’

Why not try this delicious Salmon recipe here courtesy of  ‘A couple cooks’.

2. Magnesium

Keeps the nerves and muscles relaxed and prevents the nerves becoming over excited. Can be found in…

  • Halibut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peppermint
  • Sweet Potato
  • Spinach – high in magnesium but try to always get the organically grown as it is one of the vegetables that a high amount of pesticides are used in the growing.

There are some herbs that also have magnesium in, use these to flavour your food and reduce any stress or anxiety you might have.

  • Basil
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon balm

Recipe idea –  5 Ingredient Veracruz-style White Fish

Picture ‘The Lemon Bowl’

This wonderful fish recipe at ‘The Lemon Bowl’ could help you get Halibut into your diet but why not add some beautiful fresh Spinach to help boost your Magnesium levels further!

3. Tryptophan

An essential amino acid which the body used to create serotonin, a neuro chemical that relaxes the brain. The best food to find tryptophan in is dark chocolate . But do try to buy the one that is high in cocoa solids as this will give the maximum goodness but without the sugar high. Foods high in protein contain tryptophan so can also be found in foods such as…

  • Almonds
  • Red meat sunflower
  • Sesame seeds
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Recipe Idea – Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bark (Gluten-Free)

Picture ‘A couple cooks’

This scrumptious recipe here from ‘A Couple cooks’  not only uses dark chocolate to help add Tryptophan but also contains Pumpkin seeds helping to add Vitamin E and Magnesium too.

4. Serotonin

Serotonin is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, blood platelets, and the central nervous system of animals, including humans. How to reduce stress with Serotonin? By eating plenty of complex carbohydrates which helps the body absorb tryptophan, serotonin is produced which is natures Prozac.

Oats is an excellent way to get complex carbohydrates

Brown rice

Unrefined grains

Legumes are also good sources complex carbs. As mouldy grains and legumes can contain some highly toxic fungi make sure they are fresh.

Milk is a protein that has tryptophan in, which converts to serotonin. This neurotransmitter helps to relax you and sleep more soundly. For the lactose intolerant try soy or rice milk.

Recipe Idea –  Cherry Nut Granola

Picture ‘Sprouted Kitchen’

With lots of Oats included in this recipe here from ‘Sprouted Kitchen’ could really help boost Serotonin.

5. Potassium

Low levels of potassium can make you irritable and anxious but eat Broccoli and your potassium levels increase. Broccoli is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and E that will strengthen your immune system. Try to include this is your diet at least twice a week. For alternative foods that are potassium rich try eating…

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Winter squash

Recipe Idea – Roasted Broccoli Peanut Noodles

Picture ‘Naturally Ella’

This recipe here from ‘Naturally Ella’ is a really nice way to use Broccoli even if it’s not your fave food! And offers ideas for swapping the noodles and / or the sauce.

6. Vitamin C

Vitamin c converts tryptophan to serotonin, the brain draws extra vitamin C out of the blood to the brain.

One Kiwi fruit will satisfy your recommended daily vitamin C .

There are alternatives if Kiwi fruit is not to your liking try strawberries, papaya, orange, grapefruit and guava.

Recipe Idea –  Strawberry Basil Smashed Avocado Toast

Picture ‘Love and Lemons’

‘Love and Lemons’ have created a very interesting recipe here mixing Strawberries with Basil. Great for adding Vitamin C as well as Magnesium.

7. L-theanine

Green tea is rich in this amino acid which reduces stress aids relaxation and enhances the mood. Green tea also reduces blood pressure prevents hypertension and lowers the risk of cancer.

Black tea and oolong tea also contain L-theanine.

8. H2o

Water is essential in our daily diet, it keeps us hydrated and this is so important to us humans as even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on our mood. It could be that if you suffer from regular headaches you are dehydrated. Feeling tired is another sign of dehydration so try a couple of glasses of water. Make sure you drink a couple of glasses of water a day.

Let us know in the comments below if you try any of the recipes above and how they turn out.

Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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