Stress is an inevitable part of life, and so it has to be tackled head on from every angle, be it mentally or physically. The food we eat, the methods we use to work out, how lifestyle is like in general, all work together to determine your stress level. The war to end stress is on, the news on TV doesn’t help either. Activities like spa treatments and exercise are one of the activities that are effective in relaxing and decreasing stress levels.
A major factor for stress is the food we eat. The sugar in our foods and drinks, the excessive unhealthy carbohydrates and fats all contribute to stress. It is the little things we take for granted that might affect us in more ways than you think. This is why it is important we change our diet and look for healthier options that will calm us down mentally and benefit the body in healthy ways. Here are some foods we need to incorporate in our diets to help deal with stress.
Green leafy vegetables
Vegetables are the best way to go. Having the opportunity to incorporate vegetables in every dish that you eat will help a great deal. The more fiber and antioxidants, the better. They tend to help you feel calmer and happier, leading to a decrease in depression and stress.
Green vegetables like spinach for example; contains Dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical that helps you keep calm. A 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier, and more energetic on the days in which they ate more fruits and veggies. Researchers found that healthy eating seemed to cause a positive mood the next day.
Turkey breast is a delicious meat that has tryptophan in it which helps with a calming effect after consumption. In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, men and women who were argumentative (based on personality tests) took either tryptophan supplements or a placebo for 15 days. After the testing period was over, participants were seen in more agreeable states by their study than when they didn’t take it.
Other foods high in tryptophan include nuts, seeds, tofu, fish, lentils, oats, beans, and eggs. Now you understand that feeling of rest just after eating that turkey.
This a complex carbohydrate that does wonders for stress levels and is much better than the bad carbohydrates which cause an increase in stress levels. Oatmeal is a better substitute than the usual carbohydrate you would normally take and can be eaten any time of the day of the day. All you have to do is be creative with it.
At breakfast, adding milk, honey and some crunchy nuts can do wonders for your metabolism. Eating this with toast and bananas for lunch and as a dessert for dinner by adding yogurt and different fruits to taste, depending on your preference. Use honey instead of sugar, or use very little sugar. You can also add cinnamon for pleasant smell and taste.
Yogurt that contain probiotics are the way to go. This delicious beverage helps in lowering stress. It contains calcium and proteins. According to a study, yogurt does act as a stress relieving food. It is also important to note that the bacteria in your stomach can cause stress, which is why there are cases gastrointestinal symptoms that are triggered by stress.
The omega 3 fatty acid is also a good addition to lower stress and it can be found in salmon. They contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help counter act the negative effect of stress hormones. Be it in supplements or in the food, it can do a great deal of good for one’s health especially the heart.
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