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Which anti-stress food should you choose to combat stress?

Stress : a word that has become an integral part of the vocabulary of our fast-paced lives. This disorder of the century affects not only our psyche, but also, inevitably, our physique and our health.

On a daily basis, we are all exposed to physical or mental stress, which can lead to anxiety , agitation and sleep disturbances.

According to a scientific definition, stress is the psychological and physiological response of the body to tasks, difficulties or life events . The feeling we experience in a stressful situation is that of being under strong mental and emotional pressure.

What if we could fix it with our diet?

What if we could find effective allies in food to attenuate the negative effects of stress and, if possible, keep them at bay?

This is the purpose of our article: to discover what food can do against stress and what are the main anti-stress foods !

Why is stress bad for your health?

Please note, stress is not always a negative state: it can help the body adapt to the many stimuli it receives every day.

When, for example, it allows you to concentrate in preparation for an exam, or it mobilizes the energy needed to face a sporting competition or a new job, it is positive. In this case, we speak of positive stress or eustress.

On the other hand, it becomes negative when the state of stress lasts over time and we are not able to cope with the situation which caused it. In this case we speak of negative stress , bad stress, which leads to excessive overload, with possible damage to cells and tissues.

The role of certain foods against stress

While stress is a condition that cannot always be avoided, fortunately there are several steps we can take to try to manage it more effectively. Among these, a healthy diet is of paramount importance to combat stress and regain our physical and emotional balance.

Indeed, certain foods act on stress and have a positive effect on mood, because they are rich in molecules capable of influencing the production of certain neurotransmitters or messengers.

These send signals to the brain likely to improve emotional state and difficulty falling asleep.

What is the link between diet and stress?

Certain bioactive molecules present in foods help combat stress; such as tryptophan, omega 3, B vitamins, vitamin D and many minerals.

These bioactive molecules also influence the production of the following hormones:

  • Serotonin , also called the “feel-good hormone”;
  • Dopamine , associated with pleasure and the reward mechanism;
  • Melatonin , the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle;
  • Endorphins , capable of determining a feeling of well-being;
  • Cortisol , also called the “stress hormone”.

    To supplement your diet, a Multivitamin may also be of interest. Indeed, composed of numerous vitamins (including the B vitamins and vitamin D mentioned above) and minerals. It therefore brings you a wide spectrum of benefits.

Anti-stress foods

Here are 5 examples of foods to include in an anti-stress diet .

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate, an ally of good humor

Good news for those with a sweet tooth: dark chocolate has a high content of tryptophan , an essential amino acid that our body is not able to synthesize, but which must be absorbed through food.

Dark chocolate is a food capable of countering stress and improving mood, by stimulating, thanks to tryptophan, the production of serotonin, the well-being hormone.

Not to mention its magnesium content, the king of anti-stress minerals .

Other foods rich in tryptophan are peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and pistachios.


Pistachio, naturally concentrated in vitamin B6 and melanin, ideal against stress

Speaking of pistachios, they are also full of vitamin B6 , a vitamin effective in promoting the synthesis of melatonin .

The latter is a hormone well known to insomniacs, because it plays an essential role in the physiology of sleep and the regulation of the sleep cycle .

Other food groups that provide vitamin B6 are meat, fish, whole grains, eggs, and dairy products.


Salmon, anti-stress food at the table

Salmon is characterized by its good content of omega 3 fatty acids, commonly known as good fats , thanks to their anti-inflammatory property. Consumption of salmon helps improve the mood of patients suffering from stress and prolonged sadness, precisely thanks to its contribution of omega-3.

As shown by the Food for Mood study , conducted in 2018 by the University of Bordeaux , a deficiency in fatty acids such as omega 3 from adolescence can predispose to anxiety and depression.

For more details, here is the Inserm press release Omega-3 essential for the brain from adolescence . Other foods rich in omega-3 are sardines, flaxseeds and tuna.


Mackerel and vitamin D, a natural anti-stress

Still when it comes to fish, mackerel is one of the best-known fatty fish, which stands out for its high vitamin D content. The latter is capable of reducing the secretion of cortisol , the stress hormone, which has a relaxing effect on the body.

Also present in eggs and cheese, vitamin D is also synthesized by our body through exposure to the sun.


Banana, an anti-stress fruit for quality sleep

Let's finish our list with a fruit, the banana: it is one of the foods that promote good sleep .

In fact, it contains tryptophan, which is used by the body to synthesize serotonin, thus improving mood and nervous balance. This substance can then be transformed into melatonin , whose role we have already mentioned in promoting peaceful nights.

Imagine that eating a banana in the evening can increase the concentration of melatonin in the blood by 130% on average and can therefore help us sleep better .

And it's not over: the banana also contains zinc, potassium and especially magnesium , a precious ally of our emotional balance. But also folic acid, which helps the good mood hormone reach the brain more quickly.

Other foods that contain melatonin are apples, cherries, oranges and nuts.

Should we use supplements against stress?

In addition to food, and to complement the benefits of the anti-stress foods mentioned above, food supplements can prove to be of great help.

Herbal supplements

Yes, the generosity of nature is limitless. It offers us plants capable of combating stress, whether of physical or emotional origin.

Effective plants for an anti-stress effect are of two types:

  • Adaptogenic plants , which can improve the body's resistance to stress conditions .
    An example ? Ashwagandha root is a natural anti-stress agent and is an excellent choice for sleep disorders, fatigue and lack of concentration.

  • Relaxing plants , which help calm the nervous system and promote sleep. It is a set of these plants that you will find in our Sleep Formula , the composition of which is carefully studied to chase away bad stress and sleep like a marmot!

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Vitamin and mineral supplements

To supplement your diet, a Multivitamin can also prove to be a valuable tool to guarantee the body the intake of vitamins and minerals (including the B vitamins and vitamin D mentioned above) which it needs in order to naturally fight the stress . In addition to helping to combat stress, this type of supplement provides a wide spectrum of benefits (immunity, vitality, etc.).

Good to know, to be considered a multivitamin, you need at least 3 vitamins or minerals in the supplement. To choose it well, it is important to pay attention to its composition, the quality of its active ingredients, its dosage, its traceability and its form.

Our Multivitamins is composed of 29 nutrients (vitamins, minerals and plant extracts). A true Swiss army knife, it will be beneficial to vitality and ideal for immunity and tone.

In conclusion, if to fight against anxiety and stress it is important to favor anti-stress foods , we also advise you to avoid or reduce certain foods.

Indeed, there are categories of foods that can contribute to increasing anxiety and insomnia: coffee, alcohol, industrial sweets.

As Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said so well, “ Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food .”


Co-founder of NOVOMA

Passionate and expert in micro-nutrition, Lucas founded Novoma in 2012. It is with conviction that he develops food supplements with effective, carefully chosen and 100% clean active ingredients, to best meet the body's needs.

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