What to Eat for Stress Relief, Improved Brain Function

Gioia Cumicek, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Studies have shown that nuts, red peppers, salmon, spinach, oatmeal, dark chocolate and tea are seven foods that are effective for stress relief.

B vitamins keep our neurotransmitters in their happy place and help us handle the fight-or-flight stress response,” says Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., R.D., a psychologist in Burlington, Vermont.

A couple servings of potassium-packed pistachios a day can reduce stress along with blood pressure.

Red peppers have about two times the amount of vitamin C as an orange. A study done in Psycho­pharma­cology, proved those who take higher doses of vitamin C before stressful activity have had lower blood pressure.

In a study done by Brain, Behavior and Immunity, people who took a daily omega-3 supplement reduced their anxiety by about twenty percent. The supplement taken for this study is found in salmon. About two servings of salmon per week can reduce anxiety.  

“Magnesium helps regulate cortisol and blood pressure too,” says Somer.

Magnesium is flushed out of the body when stress occurs. Because of this it is crucial to get enough. Spinach is a food that is rich in magnesium.

Oatmeal helps generate the distressing neurotransmitter serotonin. This helps calm those with stress.

The Journal of Proteome Research showed that people who ate the equivalent to a full-sized candy bar daily for two weeks had lower cortisol hormones. The cocoa in chocolate is a large part of this.

Caffeine causes a high level of stress. When drinking tea or coffee, decaf will help reduce stress levels. Tea helps lower the cortisol level within a person which leads to stress relief.

These foods relieve stress along with anxiety. Other foods that help with anxiety are asparagus, avocado, milk, almonds, oranges and turkey.

Eleven foods used to help with memory include fatty fish, coffee, blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, oranges and eggs.

These foods improve alertness and protect from brain damage, all of which boosts alertness, memory and brain function.

These brain-healthy foods can’t hurt us. . . and could quite possibly help us.