You’re spinning like crazy again and you don’t know because you’re supposed to do all this? In the long term, you should see that you reduce the amount of stress. In the short term, you might need something to strengthen your nerves first, i.e. nerve food. However, when the stress level gets out of hand, many people reach for exactly the wrong food kicks: “soul comforters” rich in fat and carbohydrates, like a chocolate bar or a donut. Nasty trap!
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Clearly, when you are under stress, your body demands high-calorie food that provides it with energy for this exceptional situation. If the increased energy requirement is not covered by food, you will quickly feel exhausted and overstrained. So eating something now is just right, but sugar-dough bombs are just wrong. Now you ask yourself: What then? Which foods will keep your nerves strong in stressful situations without letting your blood sugar level go roller coaster? Let us show you here!
These nutrients ensure strong nerves
The reason why certain foods strengthen the nerves and others do not is because of the nutrients they contain. The supply of certain macro- and micronutrients is important to maintain and boost mental performance.
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These include high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates and of course water, as well as numerous vitamins and minerals.
Nuts, bananas, spinach & co. protect you from stress © Antonina Vlasova / Shutterstock.com
Vitamins and minerals against stress
The large group of B vitamins are a real must-have for strong nerves. Foods with a lot of B vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, should therefore land abundantly on your plate. The supply of vitamin C and vitamin E is also important to arm yourself against stress. They protect you from cell-damaging oxygen compounds, the so-called free radicals. Minerals, above all magnesium, calcium and potassium, must also be included in your diet in order to cope with stressful everyday life.
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We have summarized the positive effects of the individual nutrients in a table for you:
Serotonin-rich foods lift the spirits
Serotonin is now known to many as the so-called happiness hormone. It is a kind of homemade good mood hormone, because your body can produce it itself. However, to do so, it needs the right basic building blocks, such as vitamin B12, B6 and the amino acid tryptophan.
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Tryptophane is contained in many protein-rich foods, but can only reach the brain via the blood with the help of carbohydrates that lead to insulin release. You should therefore combine healthy carbohydrates with protein to strengthen the nerves.
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These foods are the perfect nerve food
Fortunately, there is plenty of healthy nerve food in the supermarket. These anti-stress foods provide optimal support for body and mind and arm you against annoying everyday stress.
1. nuts, seeds & kernels
Nuts are ideal in several respects: they provide large quantities of B vitamins (especially vitamin B1), as well as magnesium, potassium and vitamin E. In addition, they are ideal as snacks on the go, vegan, gluten-free and available everywhere. Seeds and seeds, such as flax seeds or pumpkin seeds, also contain the above-mentioned micronutrients and can be easily integrated into the diet, for example as muesli topping.
Food with a lot of vitamin E
2. green vegetables
Green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli and chard, not only provide a lot of magnesium, but also numerous B vitamins, as well as calcium, potassium, vitamin C and iron. Iron supports memory performance, which allows you to work more concentrated without showing signs of fatigue, for example.
Spinach & Co. contain many nerve-boosting ingredients © Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock.com
Bananas are a real happy food, because they contain not only nerve-strengthening nutrients such as vitamin B6, magnesium and potassium, but also tryptophane. This amino acid is essential for the formation of the happiness hormone serotonin.
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4. cocoa / dark chocolate
Cocoa = chocolate? Not quite. Because only dark chocolate with a high cocoa content or cocoa nibs are considered healthy nourishment for the nerves. Why? Cocoa also contains a certain amount of tryptophan, which is needed for the formation of serotonin. In addition, cocoa contains flavonoids. These so-called secondary plant substances also protect you from cardiovascular diseases.
With a portion of oatmeal for breakfast you are perfectly equipped for a stressful day. The reason: The healthy flakes contain lots of vitamin B1 and B3, as well as tryptophan, which is needed for the formation of serotonin.
Oatmeal in the morning not only dispels sorrow and worry, but also stress © Ekaterina Kondratova / Shutterstock.com
The complex, i.e. long-chain carbs also protect you from annoying ravenous attacks. Sometimes they can also be quite stressful.
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About half of the brain and nervous system consists of fat. Accordingly, (healthy) fats are important for strong nerves. Fish such as salmon, tuna or herring contain many omega-3 fatty acids. These dampen the hormone adrenaline, which is released during stress, and thus have a calming effect.
A meal with plenty of legumes makes you resistant to stress. This is because lentils, chickpeas or peas not only contain large amounts of potassium, but also have a high content of magnesium, iron and zinc.
Chickpeas arm you against stress © Vitalii-Matokha / Shutterstock.com
And there’s more: pulses can also score points with the valuable B vitamins.
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Meat is above all a top source of animal iron, protein, magnesium and B vitamins. Beef, for example, contains a lot of vitamin B6, which strengthens the nerves and makes it more resistant to stress. A lack of vitamin B6 often triggers states of exhaustion. Pork can also score points, especially with a lot of vitamin B 3 (niacin) and vitamin B12.
With a varied diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, healthy cereal products and legumes, you can arm yourself against stressful situations in everyday life. The ingredients of the food ensure that you can work more concentrated and are guaranteed to keep your nerves when you next talk to the boss. It is important that you always have some brain food to hand in case of an emergency (e.g. nuts). And that you do something to reduce stress if it doesn’t go away by itself.