Thursday, July 22, 2021

Foods that help combat stress, anxiety, and depression

Symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as high levels of stress, are common in people all over the world. Not only do these afflictions take a great mental toll, they can also manifest themselves physically—in weight gain. Unfortunately, stress-induced weight gain is a very real thing.

When your body is under a high amount of stress, it releases the hormone cortisol, which leads to a rise in appetite. How does this happen exactly? Essentially a higher cortisol level creates higher insulin levels in your body and a drop in blood sugar, which is the perfect combination for junk food cravings to ensue.

Dr. Jason Perry Block told WebMD, “This happens, in part, because the body releases chemicals in response to food that might have a direct calming effect.”

What's more, according to Women’s Health Mag, there are several other habits that stressed people do which lead to weight gain.

Anxious people are often not getting an adequate amount of sleep. A lack of sleep, like stress, contributes to your body producing more cortisol. 

People who are stressed out are also more likely to emotionally eat and skip out on regular exercise. Not to mention forgetting to eat when you’re busy at work, which slows your metabolism and makes it more likely for you to binge later on in the day.

While these are all difficult cravings to overcome, what if you could use food to help you minimize some of your symptoms and improve your mood? Instead of going for comforting junk food, try to grab one of these healthier options. You never knew food could have this much of an impact!

Sardines - Oily fish are rich in omega-3, which is linked to better moods thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study published by NCBI, people with symptoms of depression improved after beginning a diet featuring omega-3.

Chickpeas - Canadian researchers discovered a lack of vitamin B6 in patients with symptoms of depression, reports NCBI. Chickpeas are a great source of vitamin B6, as well as the main ingredient in delicious hummus!

Oranges - Vitamin C is known to help lower blood pressure, as well as cortisol (the stress hormone), according to Men’s Fitness.

Spinach - Spinach is also rich in B vitamins, which can help raise your levels of serotonin and boost your mood.

Raspberries - Raspberries have a high level of antioxidants, which studies have shown improve depression levels.

MozzarellaThis may come as a surprise, but mozzarella contains more tryptophan than turkey. This amino acid is connected to brain function and the production of serotonin.

Turkey - However that's not to take away from turkey itself! You can get a dose of protein and tryptophan with this meat on the plate.

Avocado - According to Elle, this fruit is rich in vitamin B which sends out neurotransmitters that boost mood, including serotonin and dopamine.

BroccoliBroccoli has numerous nutritional benefits. No vegetable contains as much chromium as broccoli. According to Karger, chromium plays a key role in synthesizing serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin, neurotransmitters which help with mood and well-being.

Black beans - Black beans are rich in folic acid and magnesium, nutrients which are associated with combating depression. According to the  Journal of Active Disorder, a diet rich in magnesium is associated to lower risk of depression.

Cashew - According to the Journal of Active Disorders, a low-magnesium diet may contribute to depression. Cashews are rich in magnesium.

Clams - They are very rich in vitamin B12, a nutrient which helps reduce the risk of depression (especially in men), according to the NCBI.

Almonds - Almonds are rich in vitamins B2 and E. These vitamins help reinforce the immune system in times of stress, according to Women’s Health.

Salmon - An omega 3-rich diet can help fight high levels of cortisol and adrenaline, according to Men’s Fitness. Salmon is one of the best sources of omega 3.

Onion - According to an article published on, onions are associated with low risks of cancer. It also helps combat stress, as it contains an antioxidant called quercetin, which protects the brain against stress.

Yogurt - Probiotic yogurts can lower symptoms of depression. According to a study published by the NCBI, intestinal probiotics play an important role in communication between brain and intestine. They are very important for people suffering depression.

Carrots - Carrots are rich in lutein, an antioxidant found in foods with yellow and orange pigmentation. In addition to improving eye health, it's suggested that these isomers could also improve psychological health.

Milk - Milk is rich in antioxidants, vitamin B12, and of course, protein and calcium. According to Men’s Fitness, dairy protein has a calming effect, helping to lower blood pressure.

Blueberries - When we're under a lot of stress, our body needs vitamin C and antioxidants which help repair damaged cells. Just a small portion of blueberries gives us a good dose of vitamin C.

Olive oil - Research shows that a Mediterranean diet is linked to lower levels of depression. Olive oil is a key part of this diet.

Oats - Oats are another foot that help to deliver the hormone that brings calmness and serenity, keeping serotonin at a healthy level, according to Step To Health.

Oysters - These shellfish are high in zinc. According to a study carried out by NCBI, a zinc-rich diet is linked to lower symptoms of depression.

Asparagus - Depression is linked to lower levels of folic acid. A portion of cooked asparagus equivalent to one cup, is enough to deliver two-thirds of our necessary daily intake.

Coffee - It has been scientifically proven in NCBI, that people who drink coffee moderately (key word) show reduced symptoms of depression compared to people who drink very little or no coffee.

Brussels sprouts - Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber and folic acid, nutrients which are important for good moods. Folic acid plays a very important role in the production of neurotransmitters.

Water - The benefits of water are well-known, but some people still go overboard with sugary drinks. A sugary diet can do damage to your mental health, so make sure you hydrate properly.

Mushrooms - Mushrooms help lower blood sugar levels and are beneficial to our mental health. They are rich in probiotics, which are important for our behavior and mood.

Stars Insider


  • Blogger Comments
  • Facebook Comments

0 facebook:

Post a Comment

Item Reviewed: Foods that help combat stress, anxiety, and depression Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BUXONE