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Eat These Foods to Reduce Stress

By Rachel Carver

Stress comes in different forms. Traffic jams stress us out for different reasons than learning about a family member's illness. However, our bodies react to all stressors in the same way.

The release of cortisol and adrenaline hormones boost alertness and increase heart rate and muscle tension. This response can help you put out a fire or catch your toddler before a potentially painful fall. However, staying in this continuous heightened state can negatively affect our moods and waistlines. In addition to regular exercise and relaxation techniques such as meditation, the foods you eat can also make a difference.

Why Does Food Matter?

Too much stress can deplete the body's B vitamins. Foods high in this vitamin can replenish what stress takes away. B vitamins such as B6 and folate affect the regulation of brain glucose. They are necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and melatonin, which reduces depression symptoms and improves our stress response.

Foods containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids help regulate brain neurotransmitters, which can reduce anxiety and influence our handling of stress. Too much stress causes overeating and cravings of unhealthy foods. For this reason, it is important to have healthy foods available during times of stress.

Incorporate some of these foods into your diet to help combat stress.


High in omega-3 fatty acids, fish such as salmon and mackerel promote overall brain health and can reduce inflammation. Fatty fish are also packed with B vitamins and Vitamin D.

Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds are full of magnesium, B vitamins and zinc, which all focus on brain health. Magnesium influences many reactions in the body, including mood. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked with depression. Depression can reduce serotonin levels in the brain and increase the cortisol stress response.


The healthy fats found in avocados can keep you full longer, which prevents overeating. They also contain folate and magnesium. Vitamins C and E, antioxidants that combat oxidative stress, are also in avocados.

Leafy Greens

In addition to being an important part of overall nutrition, regular consumption of greens can improve brain function. The high amounts of Vitamin C and magnesium found in spinach, kale, and collard greens can protect your brain cells. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to reduce anxiety and inflammation.

Don't let stress rule your life. Head to The Joint Chiropractic clinic near you to find more stress management tips.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Jacksonville, Fla.

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