When stress spirals out of control, our health is the first to be affected. From one stress eater to another, I’m here to give you stress busting techniques starting with your diet. The old adage “you are what you eat” rings true and there are certain foods which will exacerbate stress. Of course these foods tend to be the ones we crave when under pressure, so be prepared to be disappointed. Thankfully there are also foods that have stress busting qualities and including these in your diet will help.
To be able to manage stress, it is important to recognize when your body needs a little help. Some may find themselves being drawn to a good book, North Las Vegas Weed as a form of relaxation or exercising in the fresh air. To combat stress you need to adopt a whole range of lifestyle habits. This article will focus on foods known for their stress lowering qualities.
Foods to avoid
Before we discuss what foods to include, it is important to be aware of foods that are best avoided. These foods include those with a high sugar and fat content, which just provide a “quick fix” and foods which act as a stimulant, such as caffeinated drinks and high sugar drinks. Alcohol is also best avoided.
Stress busting foods
Blueberries are often described as the ultimate superfood. These wonderful berries pack so many nutrients and antioxidants into the tiny, delicious tasting berries! The type of antioxidants found in blueberries are believed to be beneficial in boosting your mood by increasing your bodies dopamine levels.
All berries including strawberries, raspberries and blackberries have high levels of vitamin C which has been shown to be helpful in lowering stress. Vitamin C acts on cortisol levels, lowering them to be more manageable.
Chamomile tea has always been recommended as a soothing bedtime drink, it has now also been proven to be helpful in lowering anxiety. It is possible to take camomile as a supplement or a lovely warming tea.
Omega 3 is thought to lower anxiety and depression as well as keep brain function healthy. Salmon, sardines, mackerel and walnuts are excellent sources of omega 3. You could consider taking an omega 3 supplement if you feel that insufficient levels are reached through your diet.
Chocolate receives bad press and is often considered as being unhealthy. Consuming 10 Snickers bars is never going to be healthy, however there is evidence to show that chocolate can help to lower blood pressure and it induces a feeling of “calm”.
Dark chocolate is the best choice when including it in your diet as it contains the highest concentration of polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Go ahead and indulge! For a yummy idea, check out this delicious chocolate babka with mixed nuts recipe.
Leafy green vegetables
If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that eating a salad may be the last thing on your mind when stressed. That said, the magnesium packed into leafy green vegetables is fantastic for regulating cortisol levels. You could add spinach to most dishes from casseroles to curries, which may be a little more tempting than a salad!
Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne
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