How To Decrease Stress With Diet

chamomile daisies.

chamomile daisies.

While I was lying in savasana during yoga this morning, my instructor pointed out that we never just sit still. We are constantly 'on' with plenty of distractions. It's difficult to relax and stay calm with the many stressors in our daily lives. Even if you're lying on the couch, you likely have your phone near by; buzzing, beeping, and singing. Every time you check a news source, there's fighting, death, crime, plane crashes, EBOLA OUTBREAKS. My instructor's words got me thinking about how to eat to decrease stress & promote calmness. I did some research, and would like to share, as everyone can benefit from some additional tranquility and peace. 


Chamomile tea

Drinking this tiny, daisy tea will directly decrease anxiety. Think of it as a natural and less addictive Xanax. It not only calms your nerves but also promotes sleep--something we all could use a little more of. 



This hot cereal is my favorite way to start the day. It offers a boost of serotonin, thanks to the complex carbohydrate content. Serotonin creates a soothing & content feeling.  



You either love 'em or hate 'em. If you are a fan, you're in luck, as these shellfish are a good source of the trace mineral Zinc, found to act as a calming neurotransmitter. Zinc has also been shown to decrease depression symptoms.  Don't go overboard with supplements; 50 mg per day is the upper limit. If you want to pass on oysters, try cashews--another great source of Zinc. 


Magnesium supplement

This mineral will aid in relaxing your physical body while easing anxiety.  Make sure you buy the glycinate or chelate form at the recommended dose of 200 mg per day. Soybeans, spinach, swiss chard, and salmon all have a naturally high content of Magnesium, so eat up! 


Salmon & other fatty fishes

Salmon not only provides magnesium but also plenty of omega 3s that decrease aggression and the incidence of other stress related illnesses such as depression and anxiety.  Recent research has also shown that eating 3 oz of fatty fish twice per week will decrease PMS in women with severe symptoms. 



Vitamin C will directly decrease cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for increased blood pressure, abdominal fat, and depression. Please, pass me that orange! 


Dark chocolate

You now have a new excuse to eat chocolate, "I'm feeling stressed." Similar to oranges, a moderate amount of chocolate will decrease cortisol leading to a dip in blood pressure, leading to an overall feeling of calmness. This sweet snack also provides flavonoids, another stress reducer. 


Crunchy foods

This is one that surprised me, but new research shows that the act of munching on foods such as raw carrots will decrease stress. Who knew?