Mental health is just as important as physical health, and they are often connected. Stress wears the body down, and keeps you from thriving. Depression and anxiety are serious illnesses that often get ignored, but it’s critical to address all illnesses, be it physical or mental. A proper diet can go a long way to healing our body and mind. There are natural remedies for stress that are simple, healthy ways to cut down the stress and anxiety in your life, and help promote a healthier, happier you. Check out these whole foods that can help you naturally heal your mind and body.
Natural Remedies For Stress
Avocados are a great natural remedy for stress. This fatty-fruit is packed with health benefits. Avocados have many nutrients that help support your health and reduce stress in the body. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. They contain vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. On top of this huge list of nutrients avocados are also a great source of dietary fibre, and contain almost no sugar.
The B vitamins in avocados are important for the brain, affecting mood and memory. Many of these vitamins have a calming, relaxing effect on the body, soothing the mind and relieving stress. Plus avocado is filled with good fats that cut down hunger. Hunger can be a large participator in stress, so keeping your body satisfied can help keep stress at bay.
Dark Leafy Greens
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and other dark leafy greens are all great at relieving stress and promoting good mental health. These dark greens are all rich in folate, which stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is a chemical used in the brain to sooth nerves and calms the body. This can play a large role in mood improvement and relieving the toxic effects of stress. Serotonin helps contribute to feelings of happiness and well-being.
One of the best dietary changes you can do for your brain, and for your mood, is to increase the amount of omega-3 in your diet. Most people are not getting anywhere close to enough of this important fatty-acid. You should be getting an even balance of omega-3 to omega-6 for optimum cognitive health, but most foods are staggeringly unbalanced in favour of omega-6. That’s why you need omega-3 rich foods like salmon to balance things out. Omega-3 works as an anti-inflammatory, counteracting many of the negative effects of stress hormones.
Besides omega-3, salmon also contains many important vitamins. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, and vitamin A.
Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system. If you’re not getting enough of this important vitamin it can lead to confusion, and difficulty thinking, causing unnecessary stress on the body.
Asparagus health benefits are numerous. These spears contain many healing properties including antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, hypolipidaemic, and anti fungal activities. In short, they are great for you.
Asparagus is also a good source of folate. As mentioned above, folate is an important vitamin for producing the stress relieving and happy chemicals in the brain.
Not so much a remedy for stress, but garlic can help heal our body and get it back up and working after the damage stress causes our body. Stress can significantly weaken our immune system. Garlic has is an anti-inflammatory food that boosts the immune system. On top of this, garlic is great for removing toxins from the body, healing it, and helping you thrive.
Cloves are an important stress relieving spice to add to your cooking. Cloves have a powerful anti-depressant effect. Clove extract oil has shown to help reduce the stress-induced behaviours caused by the hippocampal. It has a stress relieving effect on the brain, and I think we can all use a little less stress in our lives. Stress is damaging and destructive. That goes for mental stress too. Stress wears the body down, and keeps you from being able to work at your best. A proper diet can go a long way to healing our body and mind.
Turkey is another good food to improve your mood and reduce stress. Turkey contains an important amino acid called tryptophan. This protein building block is converted into serotonin by the body. Studies have shown a marked improvement on people’s mood after ingesting tryptophan. This is the same amino acid that gives you the lethargic feeling that is common after Thanksgiving dinner. It has a calming effect. It helps deteriorate stress, and replace it with a happy, calm feeling. While this may not be ideal if you need to be mentally on-fire, it is healthy and important to give your brain a break and allow it to rest and relax.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and relatively low in carbs, which make them a great treat. One of these antioxidants is anthocyanin, which gives blueberries their deep colour. It is one of the strongest antioxidants found in food. It also produces dopamine in the brain, which is largely responsible for mood and memory, soothing the nervous system.
Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system. This is important because stress uses a lot of vitamin C, draining the immune system, and leaving your body susceptible to illnesses. Getting more vitamin C in your diet when you’re stressed is key to keeping you healthy and minimizing the damaging effects.
Blueberries have also been shown to reduce inflammation, and lower your risk of obesity. For an even stronger anti-inflammatory food, try blueberries cousin, the bilberry.
Disclaimer: Depression and anxiety are serious illnesses. While eating a good diet is important for mental health, it is also important to talk to your doctor if you are living with anxiety and depression.