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December 1, 2022

4 Foods That Naturally Promote Stress Management

Being mindful of the foods we eat can positively affect our physical health. A healthy diet ensures that we receive all the nutrients our bodies need for daily function.

Typically, we tend to think about mindful eating concerning physical fitness; diet, after all, is one of the most beneficial ways to stave off chronic health conditions and keep ourselves active. However, it’s important to remember that, likewise, food can have a significant impact on our mental health. 

Our mental well-being includes our emotional, psychological, and social health and directly affects how we think, feel, and act. Perhaps most importantly, our mental well-being also determines how we are able to handle stress and anxiety. 

Why Make Healthier Food Choices

Scientists and nutritionists have often noted that when people are dealing with stressful situations or feelings of anxiety, they’re prone to making food choices that they feel will bring comfort, such as chocolate or another sugary treat. Often, this is viewed as a personal reward to help us feel better. But in truth, these eating choices often bring short-term gratification and can lead to even worse feelings of stress in the long run. 

When it comes to healthy stress management, it’s best to steer clear of sugary treats and the temptation of fast food. Stress is caused by different hormones that send messages to our brains and can be easily combated by the nutrients and chemicals found in various natural foods. 

BC Seniors Living Associations (BCSLA) wants to ensure you have the knowledge to make the best choices to improve your stress management naturally. Here’s our list of some of the best foods to accomplish this.

1. Broccoli

Did you know that 100 grams of cooked broccoli has almost double the amount of vitamin C as an orange? 

Vitamin C deficiencies have been linked to high levels of stress. By consuming this important vitamin, you’ll likely notice an improvement in stress management. Broccoli is also full of magnesium, known for blocking stimulating neurotransmitters and binding itself to calming receptors in the brain. Magnesium is a strong filter that steers stress hormones, like cortisol, away from the brain, aiding in driving away panic attacks and feelings of stress. 

2. Eggs

Whether you like them over easy or scrambled, eggs are an excellent way to reap the benefits of stress-fighting amino acids and vitamins!

Eggs contain about 20% of our daily recommended dose of tryptophan, an amino acid needed for serotonin production (serotonin plays a major role in the communication of cells for bodily functions like mood, sleep, and digestion). 

By eating eggs, our bodies produce serotonin and ease any feelings of stress, promoting a calming feeling. Eggs are also high in vitamin D, which helps to improve memory function!

3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be a great muse to help you get creative in the kitchen. There are so many recipes to try out, whether you’re in the mood for something savoury or sweet. 

But this root veggie isn’t just a building block for new kitchen creations; sweet potatoes are also full of complex carbohydrates that stimulate serotonin production to serve as a stabilizer for your mood. In fact, studies have shown that when people incorporate high levels of complex carbs into their diets, cortisol levels are greatly reduced in the body.

4. Spinach

Similar to broccoli, leafy greens are an excellent source of magnesium, which is known for aiding in stress management. Magnesium helps to block the release of stress hormones, like cortisol, and filter them away from the brain. In fact, doctors have stated that a magnesium deficiency significantly contributes to anxiety and panic attacks. 

Spinach also contains vitamin B9, which stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain.

Practicing stress management and fueling our bodies with the right food promote healthy aging and active living. These foods (and many others) contain essential vitamins and nutrients to naturally control your body’s stress levels and improve your mental health. Incorporate these ingredients into your next weekly meal prep to start seeing the benefits today!

BCSLA wants you to experience how we’re reshaping the senior living industry in British Columbia. Visit our website to learn more.


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