If you suffer from anxiety, you might be relieved to find that calming foods and drinks can promote inner peace. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder can make you feel jittery and uneasy. Thankfully, there are plenty of natural options that can ease your symptoms and also improve your health.
Here are some foods for peace of mind that can promote calmness and help you reduce anxiety. Try one or several to see what you prefer to soothe your soul.
1. Warm Milk
Drinking warm milk can help you relax because of the amino acid tryptophan, which aids the production of melatonin and serotonin. Tryptophan can improve your mood and make you feel calm. Melatonin is often used to promote sleep, which can help you wind down and soothe your mind and body. Serotonin is the happiness hormone that plays a vital role in treating depression and anxiety, so it can ease your stress and make you feel more positive.
Other foods for peace of mind that possess tryptophan are turkey, cheese, chicken and fish. Milk also helps increase your resting metabolic rate when you drink it before bed, which can affect how quickly you burn calories the following morning. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t make you gain weight if you drink it before bed. Try a glass of warm milk the next time you feel stressed to calm your nerves.
Seafood also contains tryptophan and many essential nutrients that make it excellent for your overall health. Seafood has calming properties that reduce the risk of depression, like omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which might effectively reduce clinical anxiety symptoms. PUFAs improve your immune system, decrease your risk of asthma symptoms and boost your brainpower, giving you a more optimistic outlook on life.
Eating seafood can decrease joint pain, improve your eyesight and boost your brainpower. Omega-3s boost cognitive functioning in women and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Seafood can also benefit pregnancy by enhancing the development and growth of the fetus. There are many reasons to chow down on lobster, salmon or your fish of choice. The next time you feel anxious, try eating your favorite seafood and see if it calms you down.
Drinking hot tea is an ideal way to relax and calm your nerves. Herbal teas have been used in soothing rituals for generations. The herbs in tea, like lavender, peppermint, magnesium and chamomile, create an aromatherapy experience with relaxation-inducing properties. The beverage provides myriad benefits like reducing your risk of cancer, fighting inflammation and calming your nerves, depending on what type you brew.
Matcha and green tea have calming properties since they derive from the same plant and possess L-theanine. Green tea is steeped like traditional tea, but matcha is ground into powder. The powder consistency typically requires a whisk, but you can also shake, blend or froth it to your liking. Matcha tea can help you lose weight, benefit your heart health and improve your mental clarity.
Berries are one of the best calming foods and drinks since they’re easily accessible and don’t require cooking. They are a sweet and delicious treat with myriad benefits, like decreasing depression symptoms. Berries are jam-packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, which relieve anxious feelings. Stress can make your body crave vitamin C since it protects and repairs your cells.
Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamin C that naturally promote calmness and help you find inner peace. Vitamin C can prevent and regulate cortisol spikes and calm your nerves. The natural sweetness of blueberries is a fantastic alternative to processed sugars that may increase your risk of anxiety. They can also improve brain health and prevent cognitive decline.
Smoothies can be an excellent source of vitamins and minerals that fuel your body and promote inner peace. You can put whatever you want in your smoothie, so you get bonus points for creative freedom on this one. You can have fun experimenting with ingredients such as turmeric root or powder, which can relieve anxiety and boost your brain health. Pumpkin seeds are a natural source of tryptophan, like you find in milk. Kiwis are also a great source of tryptophan.
You can throw things in your smoothie that you might not like and mask it with something with a more robust taste, so you can’t even tell it’s in there. For example, if you don’t like almonds, consider using almond milk with a flavour like vanilla. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, spinach, avocado, walnuts and pecans are all excellent sources of nutrients that taste great in smoothies.
Garlic contains properties that can dramatically reduce stress-related hormones like corticosterone and cortisol. Raw and cooked garlic can decrease tension and stress in your body. It can combat stress by improving blood flow and widening blood vessels. Garlic is a holistic medicine with many benefits since it contains antioxidants. It has a potent aroma and taste, making it challenging to ingest if you aren’t a fan.
However, garlic can increase your energy levels and boost your immune system. It’s a natural antioxidant that can fight inflammation and lower blood pressure and possesses antibacterial properties. Garlic can fight off cases of flu, colds and other viruses. Incorporate it into your diet by using it to season meat or vegetables. You can also create a garlic tonic to soothe you and boost your immunity.
Calming Foods and Drinks
When yoga or other outlets aren’t your cup of tea or you need relief from anxious thoughts or feelings, consider trying these foods for peace of mind. Calming foods and drinks can mitigate symptoms of depression and anxiety or soothe your nerves after a stressful day. The options here are varied enough to appeal to a wide range of tastes.
In addition to these choices, ensure you stay hydrated to create more calmness and practice mindfulness to promote inner peace. These are natural, gentle ways to attain the inner peace you need to function at your best.
Photo credits: Mike Kenneally on Unsplash
This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.