According to Web MD.com, we can remove a great deal of stress from our lives by following a stress-reducing diet. Certain foods are actually excellent as stress managers.
Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm oatmeal, pudding or chicken noodle soup, actually boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. In addition to comfort foods, some foods actually reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that are known to kick the body around pretty good.
Finally, a nutritious diet can counteract the damage caused by stress. Healthy foods rev up the immune system and lower blood pressure.
Below are the foods that are known to help in reducing stress:
Carbs prompt the brain to make more serotonin (the calming brain chemical). Good food choices are whole-grain breakfast cereals, breads, pastas, and oatmeal.
The beauty lies in the vitamin C. This vitamin can actually reduce levels of stress hormones. Experts suggest that if you’re facing a stressful event, you may even want to take supplements.
Magnesium (which spinach is an excellent source of) helps regulate cortisol levels. Cortisol levels to get depleted when we’re under stress. If we don’t get enough magnesium, we may suffer from headaches and fatigue, which, of course, only make us more stressful! Just a cup of spinach goes a long way toward replenishing magnesium. Try tossing spinach leaves into a salad – or shred them into a broth-based soup. Better yet, make a delicious Spinach Artichoke dip. Other sources of magnesium are cooked soybeans and salmon.
Fatty fish keeps cortisol and adrenaline in line. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and tuna, can prevent surges in stress hormones. This way we get to chill out AND protect ourselves against heart disease.
Did you know that drinking black tea can actually help you recover from stressful events more quickly?
Adrenaline raises blood pressure and gets your heart racing, a common occurence when one is under stress. Eating a handful of delicious pistachios every day can lower blood pressure, so it won’t spike as high when that adrenaline rush comes.
Another food that will help keep your blood pressure in check is avocados. Experts suggest that potassium is one of the best ways to deal with high blood pressure. Half an avocado has more potassium than a medium-sized banana!
Vitamin rich almonds boost the immune system and make the body more resilient during bouts of stress. Nutritionists say we should try to eat a quarter of a cup of almonds each day.
Not only are they healthy, but they give the eater something to do – somewhat productive. It also will discourage a clenched jaw which will lead to tension headaches.
Carbs as a Bedtime Snack
Carbs at bedtime can speed the release of serotonin and help you sleep better. However, a heavy meal right before bed can trigger heartburn and, in turn, cause you to lose sleep. Few things will lead to more stress than a lack of sleep – so, remember to eat lightly at bedtime. A perfect light carb snack would be something like toast and jam.
While you’re making your toast and jam, pour a glass of milk. Warm milk (or cold) is more than just an old wives tale. Research shows that calcium can reduce muscle spasms and soothe tension, as well as easing anxiety and mood swings linked to PMS.
Finally, if you’re looking to reduce stress in your life, the best thing you can do is to begin an exercise program. Aim to get at least 30 minutes each day of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise increases oxygen circulation and produces endorphins. Endorphins are the desirable, magical little chemicals that make you feel happy.
Bring them on, right?
Make each moment count double,