When you’re feeling stressed and anxious, you want to do everything you can to calm yourself down. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies you can use to tone down anxiety and bring a sense of calm to your day. You can work out, take a few deep breaths, or try a few minutes of meditation. Or, you can proactively channel your inner calmness from the inside out—before stress strikes!—by adding naturally calming foods to your day.
There are a number of different foods you can incorporate into your diet that have a naturally calming effect. Let’s take a look at five naturally calming foods to add to your plate:
There’s a reason it tops most healthy food lists. Beyond its heart health benefits, salmon is also packed with a variety of nutrients that can help fight anxiety; starting with potassium. Potassium acts as a facilitator in ensuring the brain has the ability to properly use serotonin. Without the electrical charges sparked by potassium, the brain would not be able to efficiently use neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is linked to positive thoughts and feelings.
Plus, salmon’s high level of omega-3 fatty acids regulate neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help with calming and relaxing properties. Salmon also contains vitamin B6, which helps the body synthesise GABA, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in how the body responds to stress.
Red Bell Peppers
Vitamin C might have a reputation for fighting off colds but did you know the highest concentration of vitamin C is found in the brain? The vitamin helps make several brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, and may also play a role in your mood.
If you’re looking for a big dose of vitamin C, you can’t do much better than red bell peppers. One medium red bell pepper contains 152mgs of vitamin C – that’s 54mg more vitamin C than a large orange (which clocks in at 68mgs) and a whopping 169% of your Percent Daily Value.
As mentioned, potassium and vitamin C are both nutrients that play a role in calming the brain. And one food that’s rich in both potassium and vitamin C? Spinach.
If you want to get the most benefit, eat your spinach raw, and you won’t lose the vitamin C, which is sensitive to heat. You can use spinach leaves as a base for your salad, or toss a handful into your smoothies.
Or, if you do decide to cook your spinach and want to maintain as many nutrients as possible, try using the sauté method.
Oats might be associated with breakfast, but they’re also packed with nutrients that make them the perfect way to channel your inner calm. Oats are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is an amino acid that the body needs to produce serotonin. Serotonin helps regulate sleep and mood and may help to reduce feelings of anxiety.
The Vintage Avenue Team x