Getting the right foods can help enhance brain function and help you cope with stressful situations. This why we gathered a list of the most effective foods for relaxation.
Kava root extract is currently a commonly prescribed remedy for anxiety throughout Europe. In Germany, the use of kava as a mild sedative has been documented by the Commission E of the Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. The Commission E reviewed the published data on kava’s traditional use, chemistry, pharmacology, toxicology, and human clinical studies and approved kava as an over-the-counter medicine for use in “conditions of nervous anxiety, stress, and restlessness.” Kava preparations appear to have an efficacy comparable to that of benzodiazepines, but without the potential for physical and psychological dependency and sedative and hypnotic effects.2,4 Paradoxically, people taking kava show increased attentiveness and concentration while feeling relaxed.
This is one of the best stress-fighting herbs, it packs some serious sedative properties, but without the risk to your liver. It’s also relatively inexpensive to get, and you can find it at nutrition and health food stores in capsules, tinctures, and teas (though it’s got an acquired taste, so eating or drinking it might take some getting used to). I’ve been using it for about two years, and I’ve had great results. I especially enjoy mixing a little passionflower extract with chamomile and lemon balm tea to give my relaxation time a major boost.
St. John’s wort
St Johns Wort has been used as a treatment for nervous disorders and other medical complaints for thousands of years, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that clinical trials proved its effectiveness for mild depression and certain other mood disorders. While it’s not known to be an effective remedy for stress and anxiety, there are indications it may help relieve irritability and other symptoms of PMS.
Remember that if you’re taking prescription or over-the-counter medications of any kind it’s important to check with a doctor or pharmacist before using herbal remedies. Herbs are natural, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely harmless; herbs can have unintended and sometimes harmful side effects if used incorrectly or in combination with prescription medications. For example, many herbs, including chamomile and St. John’swort, interact with the prescription drug warfarin, a blood-thinning medication used to treat blood clots.
Avocadoes are also high in B vitamins including vitamin B5 and B6, both of which reduce stress by helping to maintain a healthy nervous system. Try a snack of natural guacamole with crackers to keep you energized and relaxed.
Lavender enjoys global notoriety as a fragrance. It also contains beneficial compounds that can be vaporized for relaxation and health benefits. Traditionally, inhaling the aroma from sprigs of lavender was used to treat headaches and migraines or placed under pillows to promote deep sleep.
The terpene linalool is what gives lavender its distinctive bouquet and is also the main therapeutic compound. Used for thousands of years to treat insomnia and anxiety vaping lavender has similar effects. Linalool is also crucial to the production of vitamin E in the body.
Linalool stimulates several systems in the body including opioid and dopamine receptors. It mediates pain and importantly provides a sense of well-being and relaxes deeply. Vaping lavender is a delicious experience with the effects being felt immediately as a pleasant drowsiness. The essential oils are easily vaporized at 125°C, but like all natural therapies should be treated with respect.
Honey in its natural non-additive form is high in tryptophan to relax the body. Along with tryptophan, the potassium in honey has a soothing effect on brain and nerves. Potassium works against excessive acids and stress hormones to relax our nervous system. Research has also shown that glucose in honey interferes with orexin (a neuro-transmitter) which helps in keeping you alert. So, make sure you add a spoonful of honey to your cereals, milk, or as a spread in your sandwich!
Researchers have gone to great lengths to find a means of treating what we now think are endocannabinoid-related ailments such as anxiety, depression, and a slew of other health issues. Unfortunately, most of these treatments were and are more trouble than they’re worth.
Although we still have a lot of research to do, cannabis now home grown from seeds from places like https://www.ice-cannabis-seeds.co.uk/ continues to be the most effective remedy for hundreds of millions of people – regardless of its classification as a Schedule 1 drug.
When we ingest cannabis, the cannabinoids from the plant take the place of anandamide in our CB receptors and start to do their thing. Perfect if your body is not producing enough anandamide on its own.
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of the mineral selenium. Selenium helps keep anxiety away and also supports the thyroid.
Greek yogurt is one of the best foods for relaxation because it is an excellent source of protein, more specifically, tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps you relax, feel happy, and can also make you sleepy. So, if you are pulling an all-nighter, this might not be the food choice for you! But, if you need a good night’s sleep before, try a Greek yogurt for dessert.
If you do experience anxiety and panic it is important to avoid certain substances
Which can affect your brain’s chemistry. These include:
Other things to avoid are:
- Sugar including soft drinks and packaged/tinned foods