Healthy Foods to Calm Stress During COVID-19 (Or Anytime)

Foods To Help Calm Stress | Arkansas Heart Hospital

To put it mildly . . . we are stressed. Everyday information changes and our normal daily lives have come to a halt. Some of us are literally on the front lines and are experiencing stress that could not be imagined. At this time, many of us have looked to comfort foods to help relieve the heavy burden we are experiencing. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Carbs have been the go-to choice for many people over the past couple of weeks, but we need to keep reminding ourselves how important it is to support your system right now. So here are some helpful insights into foods to calm stress.

During times of stress, adrenaline is released and our fight-or-flight hormones are released. If our body does not release all these stress hormones, they can build up and become toxic to our system. To rid the body of these stress hormones, our body requires enzymes that are influenced by certain vitamins and minerals to function. These enzymes help our bodies turn the chemicals produced by the fight-or-flight hormones into something the body can handle – and eventually get rid of – and in turn make us feel less stressed and agitated. Look for foods with important influencer ingredients, including essential minerals and B vitamins, that support our system in the detoxification process.

Foods to calm stress:

  • Aged cheese
  • Albacore tuna
  • Anchovy
  • Avocados
  • Beets
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Brazil nuts
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Chia seeds
  • Corn
  • Eggs, whole
  • Flaxseed
  • Hemp seeds
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Mango
  • Meat
  • Mussels
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Oranges
  • Oysters
  • Pacific halibut
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Poultry
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sea vegetables
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wheat germ

Grocery stores might be scarce and some of these items might be hard to find, but many staples are readily available, including albacore tuna, sardines, seeds and nuts, eggs, canned or dried peas and beans.

For more information about how foods can influence our genes and our health, check out The Genomic Kitchen by Amanda Archibald, RD.  You can also find great heart healthy recipes from our culinary team for new meal ideas.