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Use Food to De-Stress: 8 Foods That Can Naturally Reduce Stress and Anxiety and Relax You.

Today, there are many modalities used to help calm the body from stress: self care, yoga, and meditation are a few popular ways , but have you considered using food to help?

There are chemical reactions that occur when we consume naturally occurring foods.These specific food items that have effects that reduce stress hormones in the body.

Each of these food items have different effects on the body such as increasing your magnesium levels , lowering your cortisol level ,and increasing good bacteria in your gut, which all contribute to physically and mentally reducing stress reactions in your body.

Try incorporating these to naturally reduce your body’s stress response and alleviate some stress and anxiety.

Take advantage of nature’s medicine - literally.

  1. Strawberries

Strawberries have the ability to boost serotonin in the body. Serotonin is known as the happy chemical that overrides tress in the body. Strawberries (as well as raspberries and blackberries) possess qualities that help lower the levels of cortisol in the body! They also contain vitamin C which can help in combating stress to a great extent via the immune system.

2. Dark Chocolate

You are probably happy to see this one on the list. Similar to other foods high in antioxidants, dark chocolate’s antioxidants trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax which in turn lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. Studies show that dark chocolate that is at least 70% can reduce your stress hormones, including cortisol.

3. Matcha / Green tea

Matcha, which is derived from, green tea holds a potent amount of the amino acid, L-theanine which is known as a stress reliever , induces relaxation, and combats anxiety. YOU can also supplement L-theanine, as a study showed that taking 200-400 milligrams of the amino acid daily reduced the stress and anxiety of people exposed to stressful conditions.

4. Yogurt

You may have heard the buzz term “gut health” or the “mind gut connection” and there is some truth in prioritizing your gut health to reduce stress!

Your brain and gut communicate via body chemicals and gut microbiota may affect behavior and emotion (NCCIH).One probiotic bacteria, called Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which is in yogurt, contains a neurotransmitter called GABA that helps regulate brain activity and can calm anxiety.

Other fermented foods that contain probiotics are also recommended as a tool to reduce your body’s stress responses.

5. Chamomile

Many associate chamomile and lavender to be herbs that calm the mind and body- and they are right. Chamomile has been used for hundreds of years as a medicinal herb to reduce stress and promote calmness in the body. Chamomile has been shown in studies to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and give these a restful sleep. Chamomile also has been used in studies to show a reduced cortisol level in takers of the tea,

6. Blueberries

Blueberries are a powerhouse of a berry. Blueberries are full of flavonoid antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and protective effects one your immune system. Studies show that they protect against stress-related cellar damage and even boost your mood after consumption!

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium which is hugely beneficial when it comes to reducing inflammation, metabolizing cortisol and relaxing the body and mind. One way magnesium benefits the body is by blocking stimulating neurotransmitters and binding to calm, restful receptors in the brain, magnesium can help us relax.

8. Avocados

Foods rich in B vitamins have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and avocados just so happen to be rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid. Avocados also contain tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that has a powerful impact on mood and mental health. It helps to balance hormones and aids in serotonin production. Consequently, eating foods containing tryptophan improves mood and overall mental stability.

These are just some foods that can help combat anxiety in the body. There are other foods that contain these vitamins, minerals, and ingredients as well - msg keep an eye out for them when you food shop! Remember: putting the effort in to create a nutritious meal or snack may feel like it adds more stress to your already-packed plate. But the benefits to your mood and stress levels make these foods worth the effort.

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