Between managing your career, spending time with your family and taking care of yourself, getting through your day can be extremely stressful. Luckily, your diet can help you control that stress, Bob says. He talks with Dr. Rovenia Brock about how to reduce stress and anxiety by eating the right foods.
“Dr. Ro” says it’s important to eat foods that will calm our nerves amid the chaos of our most stressful days. “I think a lot of people become overwhelmed with the notion of what it is to live healthy, to get a healthier lifestyle—including the foods you put in your kitchen,” she says. “But it doesn’t have to be a science project.”
Foods rich in vitamin B: These include clams, lentils, chickpeas and quinoa. Foods high in vitamin B have a calming effect on the body, helping to melt away feelings of stress and anxiety and enhance your mood.
Papayas: Fruits and vegetables with orange and yellow pigments are generally going to contribute vitamins A and C, as well as folate, which helps enhance the mood, Dr. Ro says.
Red bell peppers: These contain vitamins A and C and folate, which help give you more energy and repair cell damage caused by stress.
Basil and arugula: These stress-reducing herbs are a great source of folate and add great flavor to healthy dishes.
Sunflower seeds: These contain vitamin E and folate to enhance your mood.
Foods to Avoid:
Caffeinated beverages: Caffeine can cause anxiety and raise stress hormone levels, Dr. Ro says.
Trans fatty acids: Found in sweets like cakes, pies and cookies, trans fats compromise the immune system, which causes more stress on the body and also increases your risk for heart disease.
Sugar: Sugar causes spikes in blood sugar levels, which robs your adrenal glands of their ability to control stress hormones and protect the body against stress.
Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption adds more sugar to your diet and, again, is harmful to the adrenal glands, which protect you against stress. “You might want to put the cork back in the Burgundy [when you are under stress],” Dr. Ro says.