Doctors and dietitians are learning more about how the nutritional properties of the foods we consume influence our mental health. There is a strong and significant connection between the brain and the stomach. When vital nutrients are insufficiently accessible, there is a direct impact on neurotransmitter activity and brain chemistry, which may increase anxiety induced behaviours. So, here are some fruits and vegetables which can help you to calm your anxiety and stress.
Vitamin B6 aids in the production of many neurotransmitters, including serotonin, which affects mood. Avocados are high in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat, which can help to reduce anxiety. It has also been linked to memory, aids in the widening of blood vessels, and is needed for the production of red blood cells. Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, it can only be found in high-fat foods like nuts and avocados. Avocado slices can be added to omelettes, salads, and even smoothies to increase fibre and healthy fats in your diet.
When we are nervous or depressed, our bodies need vitamin C to repair and protect our cells and blueberries are high in vitamin C. These berries are rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. They can aid in the reduction of stress-related inflammation and the prevention of stress-related cellular damage.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli are well known for their health benefits. A diet high in cruciferous vegetables can reduce your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and mental health disorders such as depression. Broccoli is one of the most concentrated food sources of certain nutrients, such as magnesium, vitamin C, and folate, which have been shown to help with depressive symptoms.
With its high magnesium content, this dark leafy green aids in the relief of headaches and fatigue, further compounding the physical effects of stress on the body. Spinach, like other leafy green vegetables, is high in folate, a nutrient that helps the body regulate mood. You can also benefit from natural stress-fighting powers by including more salads and vegetables in your diet and taking a cup of spinach (about 225 grams).
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that is high in anti-stress nutrients. Low levels of this mineral have been linked with conditions such as anxiety and panic attacks. Plus, chronic stress can deplete your body’s magnesium stores, making this mineral particularly important when you’re stressed. One cup (175 grams) of cooked Swiss chard provides 36 per cent of the daily magnesium intake, which is essential for your body’s stress response.
Oranges are thought to be a perfect way to relax and reduce stress because they are high in vitamin C. This important nutrient helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause havoc in the body, in addition to promoting immune function, which can be compromised by stress.
About the Author: Dietitian Vidhi Chawla specializes in the field of Diet and Nutrition. She owns a private practice by the name of Fisico Diet Clinic.
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