Written by: Melanie Banks for hydratetoelevate.com 

Stress is something that humans experience from time to time. But with our modern, fast-paced life, many of us have accepted that stress will always be something that we have to grapple with. Unfortunately, frequent stress can lead to detrimental health consequences that can damage our overall wellbeing.

While stress management is a long-winding process, you can turn to food and minerals to combat feelings of heightened stress and anxiety. Here are some to take note of:

Melatonin

Melatonin may be closely associated with supplements for lulling you to sleep, but little do people know that it’s actually helpful when it comes to fighting stress as well. The American Institute of Stress reveals that since melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm, it can help manage secondary sleep disorders caused by another condition like stress or depression.

It goes without saying that it improves your sleep quality, too. If you happen to have difficulties falling asleep related to stress and wish to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, melatonin can come to your rescue. Aside from melatonin supplements, you may want to eat melatonin-rich foods like tart cherries, corn, grapes, walnuts, peanuts, and rice.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants, especially vitamins A, C, and E, are potent combatants for stress. Very Well Mind notes that they help ward off the damage brought about by our body’s constant exposure to free radicals, as well as lower the risk of certain chronic diseases.

While you may want to reach for an orange, nuts, or carrots to get the benefits of those vitamins individually, there is a much more efficient way to take all of it in at once — green tea. Pretty Me’s review of Lean N’ Green Coffee highlights the benefits of green tea (one of its main components), including how it’s chock full of antioxidants. Green tea is so popular in different forms because not only does it help manage stress, anxiety, and depression, but it also lowers blood sugar and even boosts metabolism. What’s more, consuming green tea also enables you to curb your unhealthy coffee habit. That way, you can still get your caffeine fix without having to deal with coffee’s adverse effects like restlessness and palpitation.

Magnesium

Magnesium already plays a vital role in several crucial bodily functions and delivers a slew of health benefits — its capability of fighting stress and anxiety is just a bonus. Healthline points out it can help alleviate mild anxiety, postpartum anxiety, and generalized anxiety, thanks to its role in regulating neurotransmitters that send messages throughout the brain and body.

If you want to maximize magnesium’s stress-warding effects, it’s best to incorporate foods like leafy greens, avocado, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Dark chocolate helps, too. Chicago Sun Times’ feature on dark chocolate notes that in addition to fighting stress, it can also lower blood pressure, so long as it’s taken in moderation, of course.

Vitamin D

In our previous post on ‘Don’t Want to Get the Flu this Year? Get More Vitamin D’; we mentioned how Vitamin D works its magic when it comes to boosting your immune system. But did you know that it plays an important role in mood regulation, too?

study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine highlights how apart from its function on calcium metabolism, it also plays an essential role in the brain and nervous system health. This just means that if you’re feeling stressed, it would help if you spent more time in the sun and ate foods rich in vitamin D. You can choose from foods like fatty fish and Vitamin D-fortified goods like orange juice, soy milk, and cereals.