Decompression Session: Foods That Soothe

Did you know there are foods that can help relieve stress and influence your mood? Here is our quick rundown! While everyone’s needs are different (it’s important to keep in mind allergies and intolerances), these snacks and foods are — at least empirically — understood to help calm the body and mind, or at least not agitate them. From soothing drinks to late-night snacks, check out our list for ideas of foods to add to your diet!

For a Nervous Stomach: Ginger
Let’s not be squeamish except… we’re sometimes squeamish. It’s hard to be on shift with an upset stomach. Sometimes it’s just uncomfortable, sometimes it’s an “emergency.” Polite terms aside, sometimes you need to calm your bowels to calm your mind. Ginger in many forms has been used for centuries to combat digestive discomfort. We’re not saying you have to chew on raw ginger. Ginger beer is a great alternative to soda that might help settle your stomach. You can also try ginger tea or ginger candy.

For Energy Without Anxiety: Green Tea
Caffeine is your best friend until it isn’t. Some people thrive on coffee or black tea. You might be working a long shift and need a lift, but some constitutions react differently to different types of caffeine. Green tea is generally believed to be good for you and doesn’t shock the system in the way a latte might. If you have a more reactive constitution, it’s a good alternative.

For Sleep: Almonds
If you eat nuts, almonds have a variety of benefits and have shown promising empirical evidence in promoting a healthy sleep cycle. One theory is that almonds contain magnesium, which is anti-inflammatory and might help calm the body. It might not work for everyone, but if you’re looking for a late-night snack before hitting the pillow, it might be worth a try.

For Your Sweet Tooth: Dark Chocolate
We could do a whole post on this (and maybe will, at some point). Dark chocolate is believed to boost endorphins, so it might provide some emotional nutrition when you need it most. It contains antioxidants and some research supports wider benefits. It’s a delicious, arguably nutritious, and a not-so-guilty pleasure.

For the Adventurous: Sardines
Maybe don’t bring them to work (or if you do, bring a breath mint), but sardines have been linked to longevity and are a quick source of salt and protein. The science is early but interesting. They’re also a foodie favorite. If you’re not ready for a whole sardine, you can find Caesar dressings that include sardines.

For Everyone: Water
Does water count as food? Probably not, but it is likely the most important item on this list. Dehydration will drag you down on the job and wake you up when you have a chance to sleep. You know this. But it’s easy to forget. If you’re water averse or water forgetful, there are mobile apps to keep you on track.

These are just a few tips for the curious. There’s so much more information out there about how to keep yourself calm and energetic (at the same time!). We’ll keep bringing ideas your way.

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