Whether at school, at university or at work: We usually don’t have much time to relax. That is not healthy. However, there are ways to get rid of stress, for example with yoga, meditation – or the right diet. Some foods provide us with important nutrients that help us to cope with hectic situations and to keep a cool head. We present the best nerve tonic foods to you here.
Strong nerves from oatmeal
If you have a long and exhausting day ahead of you, oatmeal is a great choice: it contains complex carbohydrates that, unlike simple carbohydrates – for example from sugar or white flour – provide our bodies with permanent energy. Our nerves in particular benefit from this. A constant blood sugar level also prevents food cravings and feelings of weakness. And we don’t need that at all in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
In addition, the local grain shines with lots of B vitamins and magnesium: While the B group takes on important tasks in obtaining energy from food and is therefore indispensable for strong nerves, the mineral regulates the release of stress hormones. As a result, the mineral has a calming effect. Magnesium also dampens the excitability of the nerve cells and we are not upset so easily.
Oatmeal provides the body with continuous energy and is packed with micronutrients, including magnesium. The mineral supports normal nerve function and makes you more relaxed.
Spices as calming foods
When the tension builds up in the daily routine, some of us react with stomach pain or nausea. In the acute situation, warm, moist compresses or a hot water bottle on the upper abdomen promise relief. Anise, fennel seeds, caraway, and star anise also soothe a nervous stomach. Freshly brewed and enjoyed warm, the spices dispel the discomfort in no time.
Vanilla and cinnamon are indispensable for cookies in Advent – but you can also enjoy the spices outside the Christmas season, for example in muesli, porridge, or yogurt. Because vanilla lifts the mood, calms, and strengthens the psyche. The pod owes its characteristic aroma to the vanillin. In cinnamon, the essential oils cinnamaldehyde and eugenol provide the typical taste. They also give it its warming and slightly calming effect.
Spices like vanilla and cinnamon put you in a good mood, while anise, fennel, caraway, and star anise calm a nervous stomach.
Nuts make you happy
Whether cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts: The robust candidates convince with B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, and tryptophan. In our brain, the amino acids produce melatonin, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and serotonin, which is commonly referred to as the happiness hormone. If this messenger substance is available in sufficient quantities, we are relaxed and do not allow ourselves to be thrown off course so quickly.
Incidentally, tryptophan is also found in other foods. Fish, meat, cereals, legumes, and eggs are worth mentioning. In order to effectively raise the tryptophan level, it is not only a question of the right sources but also of the right combination: our body can absorb the amino acid particularly well and cross the blood-brain barrier if we also eat carbohydrates.
Nuts, but also fish, meat, grains, legumes, and eggs are rich in tryptophan. The body converts the amino acid into the happiness hormone serotonin, which in turn lowers the level of stress.
Wait and see and drink tea
Teas are among the most popular home remedies to relieve nervousness, inner restlessness, or sleep problems. Valerian root, hops, St. John’s wort, chamomile, lavender, linden blossom, passionflower, or lemon balm are typically used for this. Mixtures are also common. The herbs work primarily through their secondary plant substances, which are transferred to the tea when it is brewed. In chamomile, for example, it is the flower pigment apigenin that soothes, while the essential oils from the valerian root relax and promote sleep.
You can increase the effect of the medicinal herbs by making tea drinking a ritual: Take ten minutes, sit down, take a deep breath and enjoy the infusion with all your senses. This conscious break also helps to slow down everyday life.
Before you enjoy your tea time, however, bear in mind that some medicinal herbs can impair the effectiveness of certain medications: for example, St. John’s wort reduces the effect of the pill. In order to rule out possible interactions with medication, it is important that you always read the information leaflet that comes with your medication or that you seek advice on this from the pharmacy.
In times of restlessness and stress, a cup of herbal tea will help you relax and recharge your batteries. Valerian root, hops, St. John’s wort, chamomile, lavender, linden blossom, passionflower, or lemon balm are suitable for this.
Great for the nerves
In order for the nerve tissue to remain healthy, our body needs B vitamins. This group includes eight representatives, including vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin. It plays a special role as it is found in larger quantities exclusively in animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and cheese. Microbially produced foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut or fermented soy products contain if at all, so small amounts and often in a form that the body cannot use that they play no role in the supply of cobalamin. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans, in particular, have to be careful that they are adequately supplied with the micronutrient.
If there is no replenishment from food, the vitamin B12 stores in the liver are emptied and a deficiency occurs. Affected people are constantly tired, forgetful, have trouble concentrating – and they find it difficult to cope with everyday hurdles. A blood test can clarify whether there is actually a deficit. Only after a doctor’s diagnosis should those affected take targeted vitamin B12 supplements, as an overdose can increase the risk of lung cancer.
Animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and cheese, with their high vitamin B12 content, are good for the nerves – however, if the stores in the liver are not replenished, there is a risk of fatigue, forgetfulness, and concentration problems.
Knowledge to take away
When we are under high voltage, our body is dependent on nerve-strengthening foods that provide it with enough vitamins B, complex carbohydrates, tryptophan, and magnesium. For example, nuts are high in tryptophan. The organism uses the amino acid to create the happiness hormone serotonin, which in turn relaxes. Oat flakes continuously provide us with energy, vitamins B, and magnesium. The mineral regulates the release of stress hormones and thus has a calming effect.
Vitamins B plays an important role in obtaining energy from food and is indispensable for strong nerves. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays a special role because it is only found in animal sources as required, including fish, meat, eggs, and cheese. Therefore, vegetarians and vegans have to keep an eye on their supply.
If we come under pressure, some of us react with gastrointestinal complaints, bad mood, or sleep problems, but calming foods promise relief: a freshly brewed tea with anise, fennel, caraway, or star anise soothes the nervous stomach. Vanilla and cinnamon lift the mood, while medicinal herbs such as valerian root, hops, chamomile, lavender, passionflower, and lemon balm promote sleep.