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Can Certain Foods Help Ease Anxiety and Stress?

Anxious? Tense? If you are nodding your head right now, know that you are not alone. In fact, a whopping one-third of American adults report symptoms of anxiety as of July of this year. Between a global pandemic, a contentious election, and more unexpected situations that have occurred in 2020, it makes sense that many of us will not feel as peachy-keen as we did in previous years.

While going to town on a bag of chips or other junk food may sound like a tempting way to wind down, there are healthier ways to support a calm feeling in a natural way. Obvious plans of attack include yoga, breath work, and therapy – all wonderfully effective methods of stress-relief. But focusing on certain nutrients and eating certain foods may help you de-stress in a natural way.

If you are feeling a little more jittery these days, try including these five foods in your diet. While eating these foods won’t erase 2020, they may help your body feel a bit more calm – something we can all use these days.

Salmon

Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon offers a slew of health benefits, including support in managing feelings of anxiety. Including omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like wild salmon is a natural way to help you get back your “chill”.  Enjoying Greensbury's wild salmon is a healthy choice that is boneless, skin-on, and full of flavor.

If you aren’t a salmon fan, other seafood choices like Greensbury's wild caught shrimp will fuel your body with this important fatty acid too.

Pumpkin seeds 

Don’t toss those pumpkin seeds after you carve your Jack-O-Lantern! Pumpkin seeds are not only a delicious snack, but they are rich in zinc, an important brain-supporting mineral. Specifically, magnesium can play an important role in anxiety and stress, specifically by having a beneficial effect on subjective anxiety.

Not into pumpkin seeds? Whole grains and dairy can help you meet your daily needs too.

Dark chocolate 

Dark chocolate lovers, rejoice. Research suggests that dark chocolate can support healthy levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls mood.  Enjoy a square after your dinner for a calming dessert that is oh so satisfying.

Beef

Beef can be a comfort food in itself, especially when prepared in dishes like hamburgers or meatloaf. But it is also a great source of zinc, a mineral that helps the brain respond to stress. Since zinc deficiency has been linked to symptoms of anxiety, at least in the older population, enjoying a steak or meatball once in a while could do you some good.

Whether you are enjoying Greensbury's organic grass-fed ground beef or indulging in Greensbury's hand-trimmed organic grass-fed filet mignon, eating beef that is free from antibiotics, raised in the USA, and humanely raised will be a delicious and satisfying way to support your zinc intake naturally.

 

Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in human nutrition and is passionate about helping people achieve their nutrition goals. She currently acts as a consultant, food blogger, and freelance writer for outlets including Eating Well and POPSUGAR. When Lauren isn't working, she is enjoying the outdoor life with her daughter, husband, and rescue-pup.