Did you know that diet and nutrition can help manage stress?

When you are feeling anxious and stressed, your first reaction might be to comfort yourself with a bowl of ice cream, a bag of chips or a pizza. Eating these foods might give you temporary comfort, but they can cause your body and brain even more distress.

Instead, reach for these 8 “superfoods” that will help relieve tension, balance your hormones and combat stress

1. Complex Carbs

If you are craving carbohydrates when you are stressed, eat complex carbs like whole grains or a warm bowl of oatmeal. These foods boost serotonin in the brain which provides a calming effect.  Complex carbs also help stabilize blood sugar levels which can become elevated by stress and anxiety.

Eat complex carbs to relieve stress

2. Green Leafy Vegetables

Spinach and other green leafy vegetables contain magnesium which helps to regulate cortisol levels as well as blood pressure.  As a bonus, they also include folate which produces a chemical called dopamine that can help you feel relaxed.

Eat green leafy veggies to relieve stress

3. Fatty Fish

Fish like salmon, tuna, and halibut contain Omega-3s which may protect against depression and heart disease.  The anti-inflammatory properties of Omega-3s can also balance the harmful effects of stress.

4. Blueberries

Blueberries contain phytonutrients that defend your body against stress-related free radicals.

Eat blueberries to relieve stress

5. Pistachios

Pistachios provide B vitamins and healthy fatty acids that can lower blood pressure levels. Repetitive tasks like shelling nuts can also quiet your brain.
Tip: To avoid excess calories, limit servings.

Eat pistachios to relieve stress

6. Red Peppers

Red peppers contain vitamin C which has been shown to lower cortisol levels which will relieve stress and anxiety.

Red peppers to relieve stress

7. Tea

Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea can help you to feel calm.
Tip: Try chamomile herbal tea.

Drink herbal tea to relieve stress

8. Dark Chocolate

If you are craving something sweet, reach for a square of 70% dark cocoa chocolate. This sweet treat contains antioxidants that can provide a euphoric effect and regulate stress hormones.

Dark chocolate to relieve stress

Get Help From a Nutrition Coach

If you are curious about other changes you can make to your diet and nutrition to relieve stress, you may benefit from a consultation with an expert in nutrition.

At FitFlex Nutrition, we have a passion for helping clients meet their fitness goals – we are ready to help you get your nutrition in order!

To get started, contact FitFlex today!