An Investigation of Calming Foods
Anxiety and stress can cause our stomachs to turn into knots. But what if you could target the very area where you're feeling the stress and combat it? It turns out eating certain foods can have a calming effect on the body and mind. Farm to Fit investigated to find a handful of foods known to act as calming agents in the body.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to decreasing anxiety. A done on men experiencing anxiety found that eating salmon three times a week reduced their self-reported anxiety. Salmon's omega-3 properties can also decrease premenstrual symptoms in women. A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2017 reads, "The treatment of premenstrual symptoms using an omega-3 supplement reduced symptoms and [improved] women's quality of life."
Yogurt with probiotics has been shown to help with mental health and brain functioning because it reduces inflammation. It also increases the production of serotonin in the brain, which aids the mood and makes people happier. In one study, people who are anxious were given probiotic yogurt and found they were better able to cope with stress than those in the study who ate yogurt without probiotics.
In addition to being tasty, dark chocolate promotes the release of dopamine in the brain, which makes people happier. It also contains a type of antioxidant called flavonols that may lower blood pressure and make people less anxious. in one randomized study, people who ate dark chocolate twice daily for two weeks reported less anxiety than before. Another 2014 study found that 40g of dark chocolate helped reduce stress in female students.
Turmeric is a spice whose active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to lower anxiety by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. It has antioxidant properties and a study from 2015 found that turmeric reduced anxiety in obese adults. Another study on patients with diabetes found that using curcumin for eight weeks resulted in less anxiety than patients who were given a placebo.
With these ingredients in mind, we hope you'll be breathing a sigh of relief next time you sit down to a meal with an anxious stomach.