It is said that nearly 40 percent of Americans overeat or eat unhealthy foods because of stress. It’s difficult to be sensible about what you eat when you’re stressed. Sometimes you just want to drown your anxiety in a bowl of ice cream or eat a bag of chips to calm your nerves. But eating junk food while you’re stressed only compounds the problem. While the junk food may seem tempting, you’ll be way better off by eating some healthy food that helps relieve stress.
Dark leafy greens like spinach are rich in folate, which helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. One 2012 study found people who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression than those who ate the least. Research from the University of Otago have found that eating any sort of fruits and vegetables helpes calm the nerves of young adults.
Turkey is loaded with tryptophan which has been found to make argumentative people more pleasant. Tryptophan is an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin. Research has shown that tryptophan significantly reduces quarrelsome behavior. Other sources of tryptophan include pumpkin seeds, nuts, and free range organic eggs.
Anthocyanins are the pigments that give berries like blueberries and blackberries their deep color. These antioxidants aid your brain in the production of dopamine, a chemical that is critical to coordination, memory function, and your mood. Research has also shown that people who eat blueberries experience a boost in their immune systems.
Eating two servings of pistachios a day lowers vascular constriction during periods of stress. This has the effect of reducing the load on the heart since the arteries are more dilated.
Dark chocolate lovers will be pleased to learn that it can block feelings of pain and depression. There’s a chemical in dark chocolate called anandamide which is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that produces good feelings.
Next time you’re feeling depressed or stressed, try some of these foods instead of junk food.