7 Foods That Reduce Stress and Improve Health

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Feeling stressed? Try these — they're healthy and calming.

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but an orange could calm you down.

Stressed people are likely to overeat or pick unhealthy options — either for comfort or because they’re in a rush. But did you know some foods actually reduce stress and stress-related food cravings?

Inc.com put together a list, and WebMD has one too. Here are some top picks from the two, along with what makes them work:

  • Turkey. It contains a chemical that boosts serotonin, which is understood to make us calmer and happier, Inc. says.
  • Salmon or tuna. The omega-3 fatty acids boost serotonin and may help prevent heart disease and depression, WebMD says.
  • Nuts. These have lots of health benefits, including stress relief. Walnuts are a good source of 0mega-3 acids, cashews boost serotonin, and almonds have a big dose of B vitamins, which may make us more resilient to stress, both sites say.
  • Oatmeal. The complex carbs here help stabilize blood sugar and boost serotonin, Inc. says.
  • Oranges. These and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and strengthens the immune system, WebMD says.
  • Spinach. While it won’t have Popeye-like effects, it does boost our energy through fiber and its magnesium helps calm our nerves, Inc. says.
  • Black tea. Try swapping a cup of coffee for this. Caffeine can boost stress, while this beverage has been shown to lower cortisol, WebMD says.

Not all of these are cheap compared with the junky comfort food we might otherwise eat. Check out the video below for tips on saving at the grocery store.

Do you intentionally eat any specific foods to reduce stress? Share your ideas and recipes on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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