Therapist

What is the best drink for stress

There are many ways to manage and even reduce stress levels when you’re feeling tense. Food can be one of your biggest allies — or enemies. It can make your stress levels go down or up, so it’s critical to pay attention to what you’re eating when you’re feeling frazzled. Not to mention, just being stressed can increase your need for certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium, noted a review published in June 2016 in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences.

An article published in August 2015 in the journal Stress suggested that the amount and quality of nutrients you take in over time can impact the body’s neural circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. Other research, such as a study published in October 2017 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, has pointed to gut microbiota — microorganisms in the intestine comprised of good and bad bacteria — as an essential link to the relationship between what you eat and drink, and how you feel.

“Microbiome health, or gut health, affects your mood, emotions, and psychological health,” says Alice Figueroa, RDN, MPH, a nutritionist in New York City and founder of Alice in Foodieland.

Fighting stress with food is a tactic available to everyone, Figueroa says. No expensive supplements or complex methodology is required.

Unhealthy eating patterns can send stress levels skyrocketing and potentially increase your risk of health problems in the future if you don’t address them. According to the June 2016 review in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, a well-balanced and nutritious diet was likely the single most important ingredient for good health. So the next time you’re under pressure, arm yourself with this delicious arsenal of 10 stress-busting pantry staples:

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Overview

We’ve all been there — feeling like there’s just some pep missing in our step. Thankfully, there’s a natural (and tasty!) solution in your pantry.

We’re big fans of brewing up healthy concoctions, whether it’s immune-boosting mushroom “coffee” or insomnia-fighting bedtime milk.

So instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee for an energy boost or a nightcap to de-stress, we rounded up seven natural tonics filled with everyday ingredients that are known as powerful remedies for fighting fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Think: apple cider vinegar, matcha, ginger, and turmeric to name a few.

Keep reading to discover your new favorite flavorful drink.

Try reishi for natural anxiety relief

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Reishi mushrooms, nicknamed “nature’s Xanax,” are a great natural way to de-stress. This mushroom contains the compound triterpene, which is known for its calming properties. It also possesses anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant qualities.

This magic mushroom may also promote better sleep (as shown in studies on rats), leaving you more rested and focused throughout your day.

Reishi benefits:

  • promotes more restful sleep
  • has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties
  • possesses powerful calming agents

Try it: Use a spoonful of reishi powder to make a warm, healing tonic or tea.

Possible side effects

While research around the benefits of reishi’s is still lacking, what’s available shows that they may be associated with liver damage. Other than that, the side effects are minor (such as an upset stomach). Talk to your doctor if you’re considering supplementing with these mushrooms as people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those with a blood problem, or anyone needing surgery should avoid it.

Try turmeric for overall mental health

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Turmeric lattes are all over the internet, but are they backed by science or just trendy? We’re happy to report that turmeric stands up to its popularity — especially in terms of mental health.

Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in turmeric, has been linked to treating anxiety, depression, and more — possibly due to it boosting serotonin and dopamine levels. Research has suggested that it may actually be just as effective as Prozac with far fewer side effects.

Turmeric benefits:

  • boosts serotonin levels
  • can help relieve anxiety and depression
  • may be just as effective as antidepressants

Try it: Try this refreshing anti-inflammatory Turmeric Tonic for something a little different. The results may not be immediate, but if you drink it 1000 milligrams daily for six weeks, you may start feeling a difference then.

Possible side effects

For the most part, turmeric is safe to eat. But you may want to avoid too much of it and make sure you’re getting it from a trusted source. High doses of turmeric may cause kidney stones, and untrustworthy sources tend to have fillers.

Ashwagandha: Your new go-to adaptogen

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If you’re not familiar with this adaptogen, it’s a good time to learn. Adaptogens are naturally occuring substances that help our bodies deal with and adapt to stress.

Ashwagandha in particular is a stress-fighting superstar. This adaptogen has been shown to aid in anxiety relief, fight fatigue, and reduce cortisol levels.

Ashwagandha benefits:

  • reduces body’s stress hormone
  • relieves anxiety
  • prevents stress-related fatigue

Try it: Sip this Ashwagandha Tonic to sleep sound and melt stress. It may take drinking two cups a day (with 150 milligrams of ashwagandha) for a month before you feel the effects.

Possible side effects

There aren’t enough studies to say exactly what the side effects of this herb are, but those who are pregnant will want to avoid it, as it can cause early delivery. Another risk of taking ashwagandha is the source. Untrustworthy sources tend to have harmful additives.

As always, check in with your doctor first before adding anything to your everyday routine. While most of these herbs, spices, and teas are safe to consume, drinking too much in a day may be harmful.

So, with all of these amazing stress-fighting tonics to choose from, which one are you most excited to try first?

DIY Bitters for Stress

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.

Mostly, our first reaction when we are overcome with stress is to look for an easy solution such as alcohol or medications. Not only is this a dangerous trend, it also puts you at risk of adverse effects of medications besides making you dependent on the drugs.

In today’s fast paced world, we may be technologically advanced but our mental, physical and spiritual problems have increased dramatically and our stress levels have reached new heights. Whether due to finances, studies or workplace we all face stress on a regular basis. However when the body is forced to experience continuous stress it can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, chest pain, insomnia and may also worsen any existing disease.

That is why more and more people are looking for safer and more natural solutions to combat stress. Consuming natural beverages like kava tea, green tea and warm milk or drink supplements in the market which have a calming effect on the body is becoming increasingly popular.

Chamomile tea is a very popular herbal tea that has its origins in Europe and has been widely used to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. It is known to calm your nervous system, relax the muscles and help you get a good night’s sleep especially if taken before bed time.

After a long day at work, the warm, soothing nature of this beverage can help increase the levels of the hormones serotonin and melatonin in your body which help to reduce your stress and worry and get a good night’s sleep.

Method of Chamomile Tea Preparation

Put a chamomile tea bag or chamomile flowers in hot water and steep for three to five minutes. Then, drink the infusion when it has cooled.

Drinking warm milk at night in order to get a good night’s sleep is an age old tradition which is familiar to most Indians.

Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter which helps to improve your mood as well as have a calming effect. Also the warm temperature exerts a calming and soothing effect on the body. This is especially useful when you are stressed out after a hard day’s work and need to get good quality sleep. You can also add one teaspoon of turmeric to the warm milk for added anti inflammatory benefit.

Tart cherry juice is made from the fruit of the Prunus cerasus tree, which is native to southwest Asia and Europe. Tart cherries have become increasingly popular due to their health benefits. Tart cherries are naturally rich in melatonin, a hormone which helps to regulate your sleep cycles.

Tart cherries also contain a good amount of compounds tryptophan and anthocyanins that help the body create melatonin which helps to improve sleep quality. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2010 showed that regular intake of tart cherry juice helps to significantly reduce insomnia as well as reduce muscle soreness.

Kava is a beverage made from root of Piper methysticum plant. It has been used by Pacific Islanders of Hawaii, Vanatu, Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands since a long time. The name Kava comes from Polynesian word “awa” which means bitter.

The active chemical ingredients in Kava are compounds known as kavalactones. which affect brain chemistry in ways similar to antidepressants and anti anxiety drugs. The, most effective kavalactone for anxiety reduction is kavain. Kava helps to ease a person’s mind while maintaining clarity, offering temporary relief from anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Basically kava is a depressant; it slows down the messages between brain and the body.

Studies conducted by University of Melbourne in 2013 found that Kava could be as effective as current drug treatments with a lesser risk of dependency and side effects.

Method of Kava Tea Preparation

Pour hot water in a bowl. Put kava in a strainer bag and immerse the bag in water for ten to fifteen minutes. Lavender and chamomile may be added for additional flavor. Then, drink the infusion when it has cooled.

Two tablespoons of kava powder can also be blended into a cup of water, milk, soy milk or coconut milk for added taste and variety.

Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis plant. Green Tea is renowned for its numerous health benefits which are believed to be due to two substances found almost exclusively in green tea, EGCG [Epigallocatechin-3-gallate] and L-theanine.

EGCG is rich in antioxidants and helps to minimize oxidative damage in cells and improve the functions of your body and brain.

L-theanine, an amino acid, is responsible for the unique flavor of green tea as well as its relaxing effects. According to a study people who took four cups of green tea daily were less likely to feel depressed. Green tea stimulates release of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to fight depression stress and anxiety while enhancing your overall well being.

Method of preparation

Add half a tablespoon of powdered green tea leaves in 200 milliliters of water. Boil until leaves settle to the bottom. Strain before drinking. The longer you brew, the more theanine you will extract from the green tea leaves, but the more bitter the tea will become.

Oat straw comes from the green oats, Avena sativa. This traditional remedy has been used to treat nervous exhaustion and depression. Oat Straw contains Vitamin B, which has a soothing and nourishing action on the central nervous system. Regular consumption of Oats Straw helps to increase blood flow to the brain and helps you feel more alert. It has been used to support brain health, boost energy, lower the risk of cardiac disease, lower stress and reduce anxiety levels.

Method of Oat Straw Tea Preparation

Add one tablespoon of Oat Straw in 200 milliliters of boiling water and steep for ten to twenty minutes. Then, drink the infusion when it has cooled.

Fresh juice contains plenty of vitamins and minerals which help our bodies to cope with all the pressure and stress in an effective manner. Making fresh juice out of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables, floods your body with antioxidants and essential nutrients and helps the body fight and heal from the damage stress and anxiety can cause.

According to the University of Maryland, those who consume 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C daily or more, generally react more mildly to stressful situations. Also fresh juice helps to keep your blood pressure under control. Your Cortisol [stress hormone] levels tend to be higher in the mornings, hence having fresh juice in the mornings is a great and tasty way to start the day.

Fresh juices of green leafy veggies like kale, spinach, lettuce are rich sources of Vitamin B, an important vitamin for the nerves and for stress management. Veggies like carrot, squash, tomatoes, and beetroot are abundant in Vitamin A and can be added to the green veggies for added flavor and benefit.

Coconut water is the liquid inside a tender coconut and is a popular drink all over the world for its refreshing taste along with its nutritious and health benefiting properties. It is one of the richest sources of electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium, along with dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin C. These help to boost energy levels, reduce stress and anxiety, help you to sleep better, relax the muscles and improve blood circulation.

Coconut water helps prevent dehydration and the potassium content benefits your blood pressure and heart function.

We all know that if you do not drink enough water your body gets dehydrated and does not function properly. The blood thickens and leads to a poor blood flow throughout the body. Endorphins [hormones that improve your mood and sense of well being] may not reach their target destinations and this may contribute to stress, anxiety and your brain may start to lose focus.

According to a research conducted by the University of Connecticut in 2012 even a loss of 1.5 percent in normal water volume in the body can alter a person’s mood, energy level and the ability to think clearly.

Lemon Balm is a herb which has a natural mint flavor with a slight lemony taste. It has been in use since the middle ages, where it was used mostly as a sedative and stress reliever.

Lemon Balm tea has a calming and relaxing effect on the body and should be taken mainly before bedtime to elevate your mood and relieve your stress and anxiety.

Method of Lemon Balm Tea preparation

Add one tablespoon of dried lemon balm leaves or two tablespoons of fresh lemon balm leaves in 200 milliliters of boiling water. Let the tea simmer for three to five minutes. Strain before drinking.

Stress is an inseparable part of our lives. How we deal with it makes all the difference. First try healthy natural recipes to relieve stress rather than turning to alcohol, anti depressant and anti anxiety drugs as a quick fix. Scientific studies have proven the efficacy of the above mentioned top ten stress relieving drinks. It is advisable to follow a healthy lifestyle which will help you tackle your stress levels in a more effective and long lasting manner.

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