If you’re not feeling stressed right now, you’re probably one of very few.

On top of life as we know being forever changed, we’re all just trying to juggle work, home, family, friends, bills and more — all while maintaining our sanity. Not to mention in the midst of the global pandemic, over 38 million people have filed for unemployment, causing an increase in anxiety and worry as people try to cling to their existing jobs, if they haven’t already been laid off. 

On top of the psychological effects of being stressed, it also can increase the body’s need for certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium. And while people only think of a few traditional ways to help manage stress — mindfulness and meditation, exercise and sleep — one strategy we often forget about is our diet. Food can be one of your biggest allies — or enemies — and it’s up to you to decide what side of the fence you’re on.

The amount and quality of nutrients you take in over time can impact the body’s neural circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. Stephanie Urrutia, a registered dietician at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and the senior culinary educator for The James Instructional Kitchen, shares tips on best foods to eat when you’re stressed.

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