Stress is unavoidable in modern life. While small amounts of stress can actually motivate and help you focus, long-term chronic stress leads to serious health problems and chronic illness. By some estimates, stress-related problems account for up to 90 percent of visits to primary care physicians. Did you know that eating the wrong foods can perpetuate stress, while the right foods can help you manage your stress?

Lean Protein

Turkey and chicken contain relatively high amounts of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the natural feel-good chemical serotonin. Serotonin helps us feel calm and relaxed, while a lack of serotonin is associated with depression.

Foods High in Magnesium

Chronic stress increases your need for magnesium, since levels of this important mineral drop when you are stressed. Magnesium helps relax your muscles, improves sleep and helps prevent depression.. Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and dark chocolate.

Foods with Abundant Vitamin C

Vitamin C blocks the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, so you feel calmer when confronted with stressful situations. Red peppers, oranges, strawberries, kiwis, mangos, broccoli and pineapple are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Eat these foods raw to maximize the benefits from the vitamin C.

Foods with B Vitamins

B vitamins help manage stress, and are important for decreasing depression, anxiety and panic. Consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, animal protein, and minimally processed grains to ensure you are consuming adequate B vitamins to help you successfully manage the stress in your life.

Potassium-Rich Foods

Potassium is particularly effective at reducing blood pressure, which typically skyrockets in response to stress. Potassium is one of the first minerals to be depleted when stressed – so include foods high in potassium, like bananas, avocados, potatoes and winter squash, to support your body in times of stress.

Manage Stress with Stress-Relieving Foods

You will never rid your life of stress entirely, but you can moderate the way your body responds to stress and help keep yourself calm by incorporating more stress-reducing foods into your diet.

You will love the way you feel!