Stress is a feeling that is familiar for many family caregivers. The journey of caregiving can at times be very rewarding, but there are inevitably many moments of stress along the way. For stress relief, you may have heard that techniques such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and journalling can be very effective. But, did you know that what you eat can also have an impact on your stress levels? It’s true! In moments of stress, you may crave comfort foods or something sweet and sugary, but here are some stress-fighting foods that you should reach for instead to help you to calm down.
Foods with Vitamin C
Vitamin C is well-known for strengthening the immune system, but it is also essential for lowering stress hormones, as well. During times of stress, be sure to snack on fruits and vegetables that have a high vitamin C content to keep you calm and relaxed. Some great foods to try include red bell peppers, berries, cantaloupe, and even cauliflower.
Foods with B Vitamins
B vitamins are known for improving nervous system health as well as lowering anxiety, fatigue, and irritability. Foods with B vitamins are always great to eat on a regular basis to keep these negative feelings at bay. One delicious fruit that is rich in B vitamins is avocado. Avocado will also provide you with healthy fats and potassium. Other B vitamin-rich foods to try include salmon which is an excellent source of vitamin B12 and green, leafy vegetables which are high in vitamin B6.
While coffee or soda may be your go-to caffeine source, one study shows that drinking black tea can help you to feel more calm during times of high-stress. If you are feeling stressed, try substituting your morning coffee for a cup of hot black tea and see if this trick works for you!
Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain and heart health. The can also help the brain to protect itself from the damage caused by chronic stress. Winter squash varieties such as butternut squash, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients, as well.