“Comfort foods” often end up exacerbating our stress levels rather than soothing them, experts say. Instead of seeking temporary emotional anesthesia with a chocolate bar, try noshing on these foods with naturally calming properties.
TURKEY | Do you know that sleepy feeling that you get after enjoying some Thanksgiving turkey? It’s because turkey is a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin in the body and promotes relaxation and anxiety relief.
ASPARAGUS | Believe it or not, asparagus, like turkey, is a rich source of tryptophan, a food that helps balance mood, supports regular sleep cycles, calms anxiety attacks and stress, in addition to supplying us a healthy dosage of antioxidants that lessen the impacts of oxidative stress.
SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS | When we’re stressed, we’re often low in vitamins, so incorporating more C-rich food, like mushrooms, into your diet can help reduce anxiety.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL | If you suffer with mild or chronic inflammation, stress is not your friend. In fact, minor stress can aggravate it. However, a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, an oil especially rich in anti-inflammatory polyphenols, will soothe stress-induced inflammation.
PARSLEY | You might not think much about the parsley that garnishes your restaurant meal. However, Parsley is rich in flavonoids, a plant-based antioxidant that safeguards the body from free-radical damage brought on by stress. So, incorporate parsley into salads, and smoothies and it will boost your immune system.
TUNA | If you live in the big city, you’re likely not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Tuna is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and acts as an anti-inflammatory, calming chronic stress and inflammation with each small, 4-ounce filet.