5 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Stress Levels

The popular saying, “you are what you eat,” is especially true when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. Depending on your tolerance level, certain foods can either leave you in a calm state or give you an unpleasant case of the jitters. However, some of the foods that claim to heal stress and anxiety leave you hungry in a matter of minutes. Wouldn’t that just cause more anxiety as you scramble to figure out how to tame your growling belly? Well, have no worries. The Cheat Sheet has rounded up some filling, protein-rich foods that will leave you feeling satisfied and calm. Here are five foods that will soothe your nerves and keep your stomach full.

1. Mozzarella Cheese

Source: Thinkstock

This protein-packed wonder will not only help you build muscle but also put the smackdown on stress after a long day. Mozzarella cheese contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps produce serotonin, which may have a calming effect by regulating mood and anxiety. Soybeans, bacon, and oats also contain tryptophan. Now you have an excuse to go out with your friends for pizza and beer.

“As part of a well-rounded nutrition plan, the protein in cheese can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates eaten at the same meal or snack and therefore help balance your blood-sugar levels and improve mood as well…Choosing reduced-fat (“part-skim”) or fat-free mozzarella cheese is a great way to take advantage of its nutritional benefits while minimizing unhealthy extras,” registered dietician Joy Bauer shared on her website.

2. Beef

beef fajitas and bell peppers

Source: iStock

This savory delight should be eaten sparingly, but it’s just as good for your stress level as it is for your taste buds. Foods that are rich in B vitamins, like beef, can crush anxiety and keep a low mood at bay. Mayo Clinic reports that vitamin B deficiency has been linked to depression. If you’re worried about fat, choose your cut wisely. The round cut of beef has the most protein and the least amount of fat when compared to other beef cuts, according to Bodybuilding.com research.

3. Salmon

salmon burger

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Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which not only contribute to heart health but also helps stress and anxiety to simmer down. Protein-rich fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can reduce stress hormones and may contribute to the prevention of heart disease and depression.

4. Yogurt

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

This thick, rich treat may be the cure for what ails you. Knock out your anxiety with a few bites and you’ll be ready to take on the day. A UCLA study found that eating yogurt rich in probiotics twice a day could help reduce stress. Study participants who regularly ate probiotic-rich yogurt demonstrated a change in brain function during rest and during tasks involving emotion recognition.

“Our findings indicate that some of the contents of yogurt may actually change the way our brain responds to the environment. When we consider the implications of this work, the old sayings ‘you are what you eat’ and ‘gut feelings’ take on new meaning,” said Dr. Kirsten Tillisch, lead author of the study, in a statement.

5. Oysters

Oysters with lemon and dill

Source: iStock

A boost in sex drive isn’t the only thing you’ll get from this shellfish. Oysters can also take the edge off while adding a  blast of protein to your meal. These small wonders contain high levels of zinc, which can lower cortisol, a steroid hormone usually released by the body following stressful events, dietician Erin Palinsky-Wade told MSN.

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