In-person relationships are already full of stress, but long-distance ones have another layer of anxiety attached to them – from dealing the travel expenses for meet-ups, not being there to deal with problems, jet lag, time differences, missing them terribly, and negative emotions like fear or jealousy.
Here are some foods you can integrate (if you haven’t already) that help combat tension and worry…
Let’s start with the obvious one. If you need to calm your nerves, even your grandma would offer a cup of chamomile. It’s got lots of anti-stuff properties as well as contains flavonoids – which recent studies have found that helps to combat anxiety.
Personally, I love a good cup of steaming tea while I wind down and say goodnight to my sweetie.
Anthocyanins (antioxidants) and phytonutrients are great with fighting against stress. It’s also fantastic for helping make dopamine, which aids in critical mood, coordination, and memory function. They’re also an all-around super food, so you can never go wrong popping a handful.
NUTS AND SEEDS
Not all of them, mind you, but there are a fair number that are excellent to integrate into your snacking regime…
- Brazil Nuts (for the selenium)
- Cashews (for the zinc)
- Walnuts (for the alpha-linolenic acid)
- Pumpkin Seeds (for the potassium)
- Organic Pistachios (for blood pressure)
- Sunflower Seeds (for the magnesium)
- Chia Seeds (for the omega-3s)
DARK LEAFY GREENS
Folate is your best friend because it helps your body make neurotransmitters like serotonin (things that help regulate mood). It’s also said to be a good component of a depression-fighting diet. So, if you want to reach for a sandwich, make a salad instead.
People love it or hate it (or add a pile of brown sugar and really love it). But these flakes will help produce serotonin which will help with mood and concentration. The best option is steel cut oats. And, if you’re not one to cook up a batch in the morning, you can just make overnight oats (of which there are tons of recipes on line). They’re excellent breakfasts if you’re dealing with higher stress levels.
This fabulous spice is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. The extra bonus is “curcumin” – a compound found in turmeric and promotes brain health and helps with depression and anxiety. There needs to be more testing (obviously) but adding this to some of your dishes will never be a bad move.
You would never imagine these little cups of creamy heavy to be a probiotic powerhouse, but research suggests that those who consume yoghurt (preferably the kind without the added sugars) will have an easier time coping with stress.
It should be no surprise that this one is on the list too. Besides being just a fantastic, healthy drink, a key compound (L-theanine, an amino acid) will help to lessen physiological distress. If you’re like me, and you have a hard time taking the bitterness, follow these steps…
- Green tea leaves are delicate, boil them at 160 and 180 degrees (not a full boil)
- Steep between 2-3 minutes and taste test until you find your sweet spot
- Use good leaves (not the bagged stuff)
- Aim for 2 grams to 6 oz of water (give or take)
- Add honey or lemon
- Check your water (purified spring is best)
SARDINES AND SALMON
Omega-3 fatty acids is necessary for the body anyway, but making sure you’re getting enough of their anti-inflammation properties will help with depression etc. If you don’t like the taste of these fishy, try anything else that gives you omega-3. Other “good” fats like coconut oil or grass-fed ghee are great.
If you partake in this big bird for Thanksgiving, you’re already familiar with the food coma that follows. It’s not just from overeating. Tryptophan is the thing in turkey that helps with melatonin.
Eggs, oysters, bananas, citrus fruits, bell peppers, sauerkraut, black coffee (within reason), liver are just few more great additions to your diet and help your anxiety.
Even if you’re not stressed, these are still fantastic foods to keep in your diet because they’re so healthy. Another thing you can do to make things extra fun? Share recipes between you and your long-distance partner that use these ingredients and have a cook off!
How about you? What foods help you manage stress? Share in the comments!