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Every day foods that help relieve stress

By Nimoyo Salim | January 17th 2021 at 00:16:00 GMT +0300

Selection of protein sources. [Courtesy]

Ever felt moody, overwhelmed, isolated and restless or you keep on forgetting things? Well we’ve all been there and you are probably stressed.

Stress occurs when the body reacts to changes that requires adjustments or response, which can be triggered by one’s body, thoughts and environment.

It affects your brain size, structure and how it functions, thus affecting your body, thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

What one person finds stressful varies from one person to the other and are often inclusive of many other variables in between. Alas c’est la vie.

Stress should be temporary but if it’s not treated, it can contribute to health problems such diabetics, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease.

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It might also be healthy at some point if it helps you meet tight deadlines and keep your wits about you amid chaos.

The following are some stress-relieving foods that may be incorporated in your daily meal routine.


Eggs also known as nature multi vitamins. They are packed with vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants and minerals which are required for a healthy stress response.

Whole eggs contain choline, which is neither a vitamin or mineral but can be categorised as B vitamins. It can be made in the liver and was first recognised as an important dietary nutrient by the institute of medicine in 1998.

It supports body functions such as metabolism and cellular growth, hence a building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which promotes intelligence and memory in the brain. It is also involved in fat transport, DNA synthesis and nervous system.


Meat which includes kidney, liver and heart of animals like chickens and cows are excellent source of B6, B12, folate and riboflavin, which are essential for stress control.

B vitamins produce neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which help control moods.

It’s also important for pregnant women, young children and those with weakened immune system to eat organic food.

Sunflower seeds

They are rich in vitamin E, which is a fat soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation which protects the cell membrane from reactive oxygen species.

Vitamin E is important for brain function hence essential for mental health.

A small amount of vitamin E is essential to alter depression and stress as it contains stress nutrients which include zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium and B vitamins.

Vitamin E is also essential in reproduction, good for the skin and helps with overall vision.


Milk contain lactium, a protein hydrolysate touted to manage stress and contain bioactive decapeptide, which has relaxing properties called alpha casozephine.

Lactium lowers blood pressure and reduces levels of cortisol; a nature build hormone that is released to control your fear, mood and stress.

Lactium acts on receptors in the brain that help also control anxiety and stress.

Scientists have observed for years that babies would become settled and calm after they feed on milk.


Garlic is high in sulfur. A compound that helps increase the levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that not only reduces ulcerative colitis damage (an inflammatory disease that has been linked to oxidative damage and stress) but also to support the immune system, regenerate vitamin C together with Vitamin E, and transport mercury to the brain, which can in turn reduce stress.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes, which come in variety of colour and size including white, purple and orange, are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

It lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which reduces stress.

Sweet potatoes is an excellent source of beta-carotene the same antioxidant found in carrot, which is converted into vitamin A. It supports the immune system, healthy vision and gut health. It also protects the body from free radical damage, improves blood sugar regulation and reduces chances of getting chronic diseases.

Consult your doctor if you’ve had history with kidney stones as it may increase your risk of kidney stone formation due to their oxalate content.

Shell fish

This is the term used to describe aquatic invertebrates. Animals which have either shell or shell skeleton, especially mollusks such as oysters, clams and crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and shrimp.

They are rich in taurine and other amino acids that produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, which is essential in regulating stress. On the other hand, taurine has an antidepressant effect that reduces stress and anxiety symptoms.

Shell fish are also loaded with vitamin B12, zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium which may boost your mood.

Other foods include green tea, yoghurt, dark chocolate and oranges, which boost the immune system and reduce stress.

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