If you’re wondering why sugary foods taste a lot better when you’re feeling down, that’s because sugar decreases our response to high-stress levels. Additionally, sugar can improve mood by repressing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the brain, which is the response indicator for stress hormones.
However, while sugary food can help alleviate stress, it can also pose a health risk when overconsumed. Food with high carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice, pasta, and anything fast food, is broken down into sugar when digested. Yes, high carbs can serve as a mood-booster and stress-reliever, but over-indulging can result in health risks such as diabetes.
Did you know that there is a guilt-free way to eat your stress away? Say goodbye to foods with high carbohydrates, and enjoy a healthier eating method to boost your energy levels.
This healthier way of eating is called a ketogenic diet. In contrast to consuming sugary foods for a quick stress-buster, which ends up in unstable blood sugar levels, a ketogenic diet can provide healthy blood sugar levels, hormones, and cortisol.
9 Best Ketogenic Foods That Reduce Stress
Ketogenic foods are packed with many nutrients and vitamins. We’ve listed the best food choices in this article if you need something to enhance your mood and lower your stress. However, note that these foods only serve as supplementary sustenance and not as a permanent treatment for stress management.
1. Dark Green Vegetables
Vegetables are superfoods high in magnesium and molybdenum, which can help regulate cortisol and blood pressure levels. They also contain folate, which produces a chemical responsible for making you feel better—dopamine.
2. Chicken Breast
Aside from being an excellent source of lean protein, chicken breasts also provide high amounts of an amino acid called tryptophan. In turn, this creates serotonin, which can elevate your mood and improve your sleep.
Papaya is high in Vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps prevent certain infections like the common cold.
4. Swiss Chard
This contains an anti-stress nutrient that can help your muscles relax and decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease while offering an energy booster.
As it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, it can alleviate mood swings and depression while enhancing cognitive performance.
Vitamin C is a great replacement when your body craves sugary foods. Small but mighty berries are bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C to provide stress relief.
7. Shiitake Mushrooms
With their pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) nutrients, these mushrooms can support your adrenal glands to respond better to high-stress levels.
8. Fermented Foods
Veggie-based fermented foods are incredible ways to maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Imbalances in gut bacteria are often associated with anxiety and other mood and mental disorders.
9. Dark Chocolate
If you’re craving something sweet but want to feel less guilty, then try the healthier chocolate option! Dark chocolate can reduce cortisol and other stress hormones, but remember to consume it in moderation.
If you’re having a difficult time at home or work, then it’s time to de-stress by trying out a ketogenic diet. These common foods can be an important step in making you feel better. Make sure to take care of yourself mentally by taking breaks when you’re too stressed out and don’t forget to rest.
Are you looking for healthy keto meal recipes? Check out our recipes today to create Keto friendly meals that are not only healthy but taste great!