If you or someone in your family suffers from back-to-school stress and anxiety, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s very common. And not just for students—many parents report feeling stressed out during this time of year, too.
For kids, back-to-school can be stress and anxiety provoking for several reasons, including the imminent social and academic pressures, changes in schedule, and new routines.
Kids won’t often vocalize these feelings of stress, but since our body (particularly our gut) is so in tune with our emotional wellbeing, stress often manifests itself into a tummy ache for kids.
So what can we eat to help calm our gut and mind at the same time? Here are 10 foods that are known to be stress-reducing:
Depression has long been linked to low levels of folic acid, and one food that boosts tons of this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus.
Just a handful of nutritional powerhouse blackberries pack a powerful punch of antioxidants and vitamin C, making them incredible stress-busters. When we’re stressed, our bodies need vitamin C and antioxidants to help repair and protect cells.
Feelings of anxiety may be rooted in a B vitamin deficiency, since we need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells. Luckily, avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. Also, they’re super high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure.
Everyone knows that a glass of warm milk before bed is a time-tested remedy for insomnia. That’s because milk is high in antioxidants, vitamins B2 and B12, protein, and calcium. Milk can create a calming effect by lowering blood pressure, while the potassium in milk can help relieve muscle spasms triggered by feeling tense.
There’s a reason orange juice is said to be part of the breakfast of champions: Vitamin C is another vitamin known to lower blood pressure and cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
Almonds are rich in vitamins B2 and E, which are both stress-reducing vitamins. These nutrients help bolster the immune system during times of anxiety and stress.
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps keep cortisol and adrenaline from spiking when you’re feeling tense. Since salmon is one of the very best sources of omega-3s, it’s a great choice for a couple of back-to-school dinners.
That sleepy feeling you get after eating Thanksgiving dinner is due to the amino acid tryptophan found in turkey. Tryptophan signals the brain to release the feel-good chemical serotonin, which promotes calmness and even tiredness. Try making turkey soup for dinner and then packing your child leftovers for lunch the next day.
Leafy greens aren’t usually most people’s idea of comfort food, but spinach can have a major comforting effect. It’s packed with magnesium, the mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels and promote feelings of well-being.
Oatmeal is another food that helps get the calm-inducing hormone serotonin flowing. Choose the big old-fashioned oats that require cooking instead of instant oatmeal.
Coarse oats are less processed and way higher in fibre, so they take longer to digest (meaning their calming effect lasts longer).
Consuming these foods on a regular basis for the first few weeks of back-to-school would be very helpful in keeping stress at bay. And since stress can often cause constipation (more blood flow to the brain equals less in the digestive system), we’re here to help with that, too.
Just 1/3 cup Omega3NutraCleanse® once per day can help alleviate constipation, due to it’s main ingredient: ground flax seed. Since flax seed is super high in fibre, Omega3NutraCleanse® works really well in aiding temporary digestive issues like constipation.
Happy back-to-school! Keep calm, and eat on.