The uncertainty of COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyone; however pregnant women are facing some unique mental stress. The constant worry and nervousness about the health and safety of the baby, is creating a lot of fear and anxiety. Moreover, with so much information about the disease flashing across TV and other social media channels – it’s becoming difficult for pregnant women to stay calm and composed throughout the day.
As per health experts, food can control/reduce stress in several ways. It’s suggested that the kind of food you take can impact the body’s neural circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. So if you are pregnant and want to know which food items act as a stress buster – read below to know more:
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, cabbage, collard greens, etc, should be included in your diet during pregnancy. Leafy greens help regulate mood and improve brain function by increasing the serotonin (the happy hormone) production in the brain.
A good source of potassium, vitamin C, caretonoids and vitamin B – this fruit propels your brain to produce serotonin. It also helps maintain normal blood pressure levels and boosts your ability to deal with stress efficiently.
Seeds and nuts
Nuts and seeds are a great snack! Ensure you include a handful of them in your pregnancy diet plan. According to studies, seeds like pumpkin and melon contain tryptophan which is needed for the production of serotonin. They also have lots of fiber and plenty of antioxidants to keep blood vessels open and relaxed during stressful moments.
Yogurt is a great food to include in your pregnancy diet plan if you suffer from anxiety. Studies have shown that probiotic foods like yogurt can promote mental health and brain function. They release feel-good hormones and help you deal with stress in a better way.
It is also important to note that not all yogurts contain probiotics. For the benefits of probiotics, choose yogurt that’s recommended by your doctor or pregnancy nutrition specialist.
If you suffer from hypertension or mental stress – include cheese in your diet during pregnancy. Mozzarella cheese contains tryptophan and is considered a good anxiety reliever. A great source of calcium, protein, zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin – this superfood will not only control blood pressure but will also keep the nervous system healthy.
Soya is an excellent source of tryptophan along with magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B – these food items support nervous system health. They are much kinder to your body and help you feel better than any processed food will.
As per studies the small amount of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids present in extra virgin olive oil promotes brain health. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties it protects the brain tissue against toxic substances and helps reduce mental pressure.
As per studies, fatty fish such as salmon that’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones. It minimizes inflammation and promotes healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress.
Apart from Vitamin D, eggs also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in creating serotonin. This essential element regulates mood, sleep, memory, and behavior. Serotonin further improves brain function and provides relief from stress and anxiety.
It is important to drink plenty of water during pregnancy. Inadequate water consumption can lead to health problems like constipation, headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. By keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day you can help achieve body and mind balance easily.
Key Things to Keep in Mind
- Do not include junk food or processed food in your pregnancy diet plan.
- Stay active, meditate, and take breaks from watching the news.
- Read books and listen to music
- If you feel stressed, talk to your partner, family member, or any close friend.
- You can also consult with your doctor online, incase you need any information/ advice.
Remember, all of what is happening out there does not necessarily have to affect you. Just stay calm and shift your mind on positive things. It will help you enjoy your pregnancy phase in a cheerful way.