Superfoods are all the rage. What makes something a superfood is its high nutritional value, it’s high ‘bang for your buck’, if you’d like! Superfoods are so nutritious that they have been shown to reduce many different health symptoms in people. Superfoods to reduce stress calm the adrenals, promote better sleep and balance hormones (which is really the key to managing stress effectively).
Did you realize that you can help reduce your stress with food?
My Favorite Superfoods to Reduce Stress
I love these 3 superfoods to reduce stress. They have all helped me feel more energized, sleep through the night and have much more management and happy periods.
Include these 3 superfoods to reduce stress in your diet regularly to help feel less anxious and overwhelmed. You may even sleep better too!
Maca root can be found in powdered or pill form, but I prefer powdered because it’s easier to digest and add to recipes.
It’s a root vegetable grown primarily in Peru. Maca helps relieve PMS, menopause symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. This superfood has also been shown to increase energy, stamina and memory.
One of 3 superfoods to reduce stress, maca is great for regulating hormones and regulating cortisol. Maca contains amino acids, which are the building blocks for many hormones. And, this wonderful powder can elevate your mood and significantly reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
You can add maca to smoothies, oatmeal, stews, soups or baking to reap its benefits. A teaspoon a day will help regulate your stress response and improve your overall health.
Maca Berry Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 medium banana
- ½ tablespoon maca powder
- 1 scoop Fermented Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ½ cup frozen blueberries (for sweetness)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Schisandra / Schizandra
Schisandra is a berry grown in China and used in Chinese medicine. The berry itself has a horrible taste (or so I’m told) but when it’s dried and ground into a powder, you can reap its many benefits.
Schisandra is a natural adaptogen to help people build up resistance to stress. This, in turn, promotes better sleep, less anxiety, more stable blood sugar, and more energy. And, schisandra has some ability to promote liver detoxification and blood purification.
You can have too much schisandra, though, so it’s best to consume only a small amount (i.e. ½ tsp) every few days. Because of its strong taste, schisandra works best in berry-based smoothies or bowls. You can hide it in some healthy treats too.
While schisandra is one of many superfoods to reduce stress, you should be careful with it if you are taking any of the following medications:
- Cytochrome P450 Substrates
If you can tolerate schisandra, is it one of the best superfoods to reduce stress and manage cortisol. It’s a bit expensive but I found some at a reasonable price on Amazon.
Strawberry Schisandra Smoothie Bowl
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ½ avocado
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ½ tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp coconut oil or MCT oil
- 1 tsp Schisandra powder
- 1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon chopped raw almond
- 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen berries
- 1 tablespoon goji berries
Place all smoothie bowl ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. It should be much thicker than a smoothie, with a thick milkshake-like consistency. Pour contents into a bowl and top with your favorite whole food toppings.
Chia is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is harvested primarily in Central and South America. When mixed with liquid, chia forms a gel-like substance, which helps to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This is great for balancing blood sugar and for improving bowel motility.
Their high omega-3 fatty acid content helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which helps reduce your stress response. You can incorporate chia seeds into salads, infused water, or delicious chia pudding for breakfast.
Chia is high in fiber and rich in antioxidants, and it is a great source of protein. Protein is needed to keep your immune system working hard and to give you energy. Eat chia for breakfast to help stabilize hormones and reduce adrenal fatigue symptoms. Of all the superfoods to reduce stress, chia seeds are a real superstar!
(For some additional information chia seeds and how to use them, click here.)
Chia Seed Pudding
(adapted from http://ohsheglows.com/2015/07/22/basic-chia-seed-pudding/)
- 1 cup coconut kefir or unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen blueberries
Place all ingredients into a glass jar with a lid, tighten lid and shake until well combined. Put the jar in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. Top with unsweetened shredded coconut flakes or chopped nuts, if desired.