If you’re stressed, then the best way to boost your mood and relax your mind is to engage in a calming physical activity. Unfortunately, your schedule may not allow it. How can you destress when you’re short on time? Food is the answer. Eating the right kind of food can actually help you calm down, think more clearly and eliminate stress from your life. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best stress-busting foods.
#1 – Tea
Tea drinkers, rejoice. Studies have found that people who drink black or green tea are more likely to destress than coffee-drinking peers even if the tea is caffeinated. Green tea also contains theanine, a chemical that alleviates anger.
#2 – Honey
Honey isn’t just a more nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. It also contains tryptophan and potassium, two stress-fighting components that help your body relax. Honey can cure a lot of ailments, too, from persistent coughs to dry skin.
#3 – Milk
Milk also contains tryptophan, which can help jumpstart serotonin production. Your mother may have told you to drink a glass of warm milk before bed, and while this might help you get to sleep better, it’s just as effective for relaxation to drink a glass of cold milk anytime.
#4 – Chocolate
If you’re tempted to eat a chocolate bar when you’re upset, then it’s okay to give in a little. Dark chocolate in small doses can regulate the production of cortisol, your primary stress hormone, while stabilizing your metabolism.
#5 – Crunchy Snacks
Sometimes, you just need to snack on something salty. Instead of reaching for chips, choose more nutritious options instead, such as celery and hummus, or dried apple chips.
#6 – Soup
If you’re having a bad day, then order a bowl of soup for lunch or dinner to soothe your nerves. Choose a simple broth with vegetables or a classic like chicken noodle. The hot broth will calm you down, and the vegetables and protein have immune-boosting properties to keep you healthy.
#7 – Potassium
There’s a reason that runners turn to bananas for energy. Potassium-laden foods can reduce inflammation and alleviate stress. Potatoes, bananas and avocados offer plenty of potassium.
#8 – Vitamin C
Citrus fruits are especially good at staving off stress. Studies have shown that higher levels of vitamin C can have a calming effect on the body. Choose natural sources like oranges, kale and red peppers over supplements.
#9 – Chewing Gum
Chewing gum of any kind or flavor can help keep your cortisol levels down and reduce stress. Just make sure you spit the gum out once you’re done. Excessive chewing can put stress on your jaw, which may lead to tension headaches.
#10 – Whole Grains
Whole grains, like brown rice and oatmeal, are good sources of essential carbohydrates. Carbs start the production of serotonin in your brain, which makes you feel happy. Oatmeal’s high fiber content steadies the release of this mood-lifting chemical, allowing your body to produce a continuous dose rather than a short burst of happiness.