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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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Cook Your Way through Stress with These Recipes

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What you do and do not put into your body can have a significant impact on how you feel, both physically and mentally. While most of us associate the consumption of junk food with feeling bloated and sluggish, it can have an impact on your mental health, as well. On the opposite end of the spectrum, certain foods will help boost your mental health by doing things like helping your brain produce more serotonin, which improves your mood and cognition. The amount and quality of nutrients that you take in over time can impact your body’s neural circuits which control motivation, emotion, and mood.

That’s why we’ve assembled this list of recipes that use ingredients linked to stress relief and improved mood. These recipes are packed with essential nutrients like omega-3s, choline, magnesium, and more. Your mom told you to drink milk to strengthen your bones and nibble on carrots to keep your eyes healthy. Well, it’s about time we all started eating foods that support our mental health, too. Let’s dive right in.

Chicken Salad with Mangoes and Almonds

Almonds contain loads of B vitamins, which can help relieve stress. This sweet and tangy chicken salad, tossed with deliciously crunchy toasted almonds, was created to honor the crowning of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and served during her coronation luncheon. Beyond being mouth-wateringly delicious, if it’s good enough for a queen, it’s good enough for us.

Creamy Cherry Tomato Basil Soup

This vegan, grain-free soup is super healthy, vibrant and contains flavorful and uplifting basil. Basil can help improve your mood by raising serotonin levels in the brain, which are responsible for making us feel happy.

Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa

Studies show that consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces both inflammation and anxiety. This super simple burger recipe gives your body a double-dose of these healthy fats by trading in the beef for salmon and topping the patty with an irresistibly creamy avocado salsa.

Lemon Turmeric Grilled Chicken

No doubt you’ve heard about the wonders of turmeric. It seems to be everywhere at the moment. While turmeric might seem like a fad ingredient, there are some pretty fantastic reasons for it being in the spotlight. Turmeric helps elevate levels of serotonin in the body, as well as lower stress hormones, which help combat some common anxiety symptoms. This delicious recipe is a twist on classic lemon chicken. Try throwing it on the grill to add an irresistibly rich, smoky flavor,

Spinach & Shrimp Salad with Chile Dressing

Magnesium-rich foods like spinach may be helpful as a natural treatment for stress and anxiety. The surprisingly tasty touch to this spinach and shrimp salad is the deliciously warm, spicy chile dressing. One of the most abundant minerals in the body, magnesium has a number of health benefits, including reducing stress levels.

Sicilian Scrambled Eggs

Eggs contain choline, a nutrient that’s needed for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that impacts the areas of the brain responsible for regulating mood and reducing stress. In one study, people with the highest anxiety levels also had the lowest blood levels of choline. Eggs also contain vitamin D, which helps ease both anxiety and depression. This uber-healthy recipe also mixes in other nutritious ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, and spinach to further boost its nutritional value.

Overnight Oatmeal with Almonds and Dried Cranberries

Complex carbs, like those found in steel-cut oats and other whole-grain foods, tell your brain to make a steady supply of the feel-good chemical serotonin. Many people assume that steel-cut oats are time-consuming to prepare, so they miss out on the satisfying texture and nutty flavor of this superior oatmeal. But, here’s the secret–if you soak the oats overnight, they cook in just ten short minutes.

About Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress are two of the most common mental disorders in the US. Anxiety is a feeling of restlessness or general unease. Stress is how your brain and body respond to any demand. Any type of challenge—such as performance at work or school, a significant life change, or a traumatic event—can be stressful. Whether your anxiety is an ongoing issue or you’re suffering from situational stress, eating right can be an effective way to help treat or dull the negative impacts in your day-to-day life.

A Note from GR8NESS

Stress can affect your health. It is essential to pay attention to how you deal with minor and major stressors, so you know when to seek help. If you think you might be suffering from stress or anxiety, we highly recommend seeking the help of a mental health professional.

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Gina
GR8NESS Writer
Gina is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer covering self care and parenting. She is the proud mom to two sets of twin girls, ages 5 and 9, and is always looking for new ways to manage work/life balance. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her art directing, designing, reading, cooking healthy meals, practicing barre, laughing with her girls and snuggling with their dog.
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