5 Great Meals That Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Since the coronavirus had us locked down at home, we had to become more creative with the foods we make, especially with children. We had to opt for easy recipes that do not use too many ingredients but are still very tasty and full of nutrients.

During this period I aimed to ensure that all of our meals were rich in nutrients that have been scientifically proven to support the body during times of high stress and anxiety.   

Even as we are coming out of lockdown around the world and coming out of what seemed to be so unreal that it was a dream; stress and anxiety levels are still high. 

Many questions may run through our head such as: what if we are coming out too fast, what if a close family member or we get corona now, what about our financial situation, and on and on. 

Stress and anxiety are running at an all-time high around the world right now. 

These meals below will help lower stress levels as they are high in the proven nutrients that help relieve stress and anxiety. These nutrients include      

  • Magnesium – helps regulate neurotransmitters, therefore magnesium is often used as a natural treatment for anxiety. (1) (2)
  • Vitamin B6 – deficiency of this vitamin has been associated with panic attacks (3). Studies also show that women who consume vitamin B6 through foods or supplements are less likely to experience anxiety. (4)
  • Iron  – deficiency of this mineral is a known trigger for anxiety (5).  It is also the most common nutrient deficiency around the world. (6)
  • Dietary fiber  — fiber reduces anxiety as it provides food for healthy gut bacteria. These gut bacteria, in turn, produce short-chain fatty acids that decrease anxiety. (7)  A high fiber diet also balances blood sugar levels, which reduces nervous tension, stress, and anxiety symptoms. (8)

So now that we know which nutrients help reduce anxiety, here are a few meal ideas rich in these key nutrients that I regularly prepared with my children that kept us healthy, full, and happy. These meals will help you cope with any stress and anxiety you may be feeling during these uncertain times.

All of these recipes can easily be made gluten-free or are naturally gluten-free.

I hope you enjoy them:


1) Vegan Whole Grain Pancakes –

The first recipe that we enjoyed every day, every time with different flours, was a vegan tasty pancake recipe.   

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups whole grain spelt flour or rice or teff flour
  • 1 tbs aluminum-free baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tbs of ground flax seeds with 3 tbs water left to sit for 2 minutes
  • 1.5 cups plant-based milk (sugar-free)
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Grind flax seeds and add water. Leave to sit for 2 minutes.
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Add very little oil to a frying pan
  • Add a tbs of the mixture to pan   
  • Turn pancake over when there are holes in it.
  • Eat with organic maple syrup.

Enjoy!

2) Butter Bean, Potato & Spinach Bake –

This next recipe was a regular for us. It is so tasty and easy to prepare.

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 15-oz. can butter beans thoroughly washed
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375  ºF
  • Place sliced potatoes in rows, cover with butter beans, onion, and tomato slices, add spinach leaves, salt and pepper, and water in a casserole dish.
  • Cover casserole with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, stir, and place back in the oven in grill setting for 20 more minutes.

Enjoy!

3) Cauliflower and Mushroom Toss –

This next recipe is really great for a quick dinner. You can use different mushrooms every time.

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 big cauliflower grated to form “rice”
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 3 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • Soy sauce to taste

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan.   
  • Add cauliflower rice along with curry spice, salt, and pepper.
  • Cover for 3 minutes and stir. Cook again for another 3 minutes. Place aside.
  • Again heat olive oil in a skillet and add onions and cook until soft.
  • Toss in mushrooms and sauté until cooked.
  • Now add garlic, and stir.
  • Add cauliflower rice and soy sauce. Stir until cauliflower rice has absorbed soy sauce.
  • Top mixture with spinach, stir, and cook until moist.

Enjoy!

4) Chai Shake –

This next recipe is a full meal in a shake. It is really special and tasty and a great way to get so many nutrients into your body.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cardamon pod
  • 1 clove
  • 4 black pepper balls
  • 1 banana
  • 1 seeded date   
  • a handful of any sprouts, I like lentil or bean sprouts or both
  • 1 cup of soy milk without sugar
  • a handful of moringa leaves or any green leaf that you have at home

Instructions

  • In 1 cup of water, place spices and bring to boil.
  • Boil spices for 1 minute, then sieve them into a blender.
  • Add all other ingredients.
  • Mix and drink   

Enjoy!

5) Spinach Borekas –

This last recipe looks like you spent a lot of time and effort on it, but it is straightforward to make.

Serves 4

DOUGH INGREDIENTS

  • 2.50 cups whole grain flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 tbs oil (coconut or olive oil)

FILLING INGREDIENTS

  • 750 grams of spinach
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 3 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs pomegranate juice (optional)   

Instructions for dough

  • Sift the flour
  • Add salt
  • Pour in oil
  • Add water gradually
  • Knead dough into a ball on a floured surface
  • Place the dough ball into a lightly floured bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  • After dough doubles in size, preheat the oven to 375  ºF.   
  • Roll dough using a rolling pin, making it as thin as possible.
  • Cut out circles of dough using a cutter or an inverted cup.

Instructions for filling

  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Place a tbs of filling in the center of each dough circle
  • Bring up sides of the circle at three points to make a triangle shape
  • Press edges firmly to close well
  • Place these patties on the baking sheet in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!