6 things you should eat to fight stress and anxiety

I started some research for today’s article probably already a couple of months ago. The truth is that I took its benefits without sharing. It has been a couple of crazy months: I moved back to Italy after 13 years of living in my beloved Barcelona. I left my job and everything I had to challenge myself, again (kitties moved with me, of course).

Coming back to my family and friends, in this year where true love is so much needed. Truly happy and honestly convinced to have taken the right decision… but I have to be honest: stress and anxiety were with me in this entire process.

So finally I managed a more or less quiet evening, in my mother’s place, close to a lovely fireplace, crossed legs with my Macbook… and finally I can share with you a couple of nice tips that helped me through these last challenging months.

Basic thing to know in the time we are living in: food is the best medicine. You may have heard it many times and… it is true! In case of anxiety, nerves, and stress, including some simple nutrients to your diet can help you gain peace of mind healthily and naturally.

Carbohydrates

Taking five to six servings of complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains -pasta or rice-, potatoes, legumes, etc.) throughout the day is especially important to better cope with stress and anxiety.

This type of nutrient guarantees the supply of glucose to the brain, avoiding the mood swings that can lead to compulsive eating.

pasta, spaghetti, farfalle

High-quality proteins

It is convenient to eat foods rich in protein such as lean meat, fish, or if you are vegetarian like me, eggs, legumes, and nuts. Because, in a stressful situation, your body will demand this macronutrient, plus these foods are also rich in tryptophan.

This essential amino acid, increasing the synthesis of serotonin (its deficit relates to depression), is key to keep the nerves at bay.

nuts, almonds, seeds

Omega-3 fatty acids

In addition to proteins, you should not forget about omega 3, as its lack causes nervousness, lack of concentration, and low defenses.

According to a study published in the journal Diabetes and Metabolism, these good fats help reduce the release of cortisol.
Consume chia and flax seeds, seafood, and nuts.

breakfast, yogurt, fruit

Group B vitamins

When the body is under stress, it uses up these vitamins more quickly and therefore requires a greater intake. B vitamins are necessary for the nervous system and for the body to be able to use the energy of carbohydrates.

Legumes, eggs, whole grains, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, and nuts are good sources. But you can also find them in mushrooms, fruit, and vegetables.

fungus, basket, mushrooms

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral necessary for the synthesis of serotonin and has relaxing properties, so it helps to keep the cardiovascular rhythm at bay and to relax the muscles. Magnesium deficiency causes irritability and insomnia.

You find it in lean meats, seafood, nuts, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, and yes…. even in dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa).

cooking chocolate, food, chocolate

Vitamin C

In stressful situations, the need for vitamin C increases, so it is advisable to eat at least three pieces of fresh fruit a day and two portions of vegetables (one of them raw).

Keep in mind that the best sources are fruits (citrus, kiwi, pineapple, etc.) and fresh vegetables (lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, etc.).

kiwi, pear, mandarin

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