Eating Stress Away - Foods that Aid in Stress Management

By Amy Taylor on October 03, 2012

Stress can take a toll on your body over time, and make you more vulnerable to a wide range of diseases, including heart disease – Britain’s number one killer. Learning how to manage your stress levels is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. There are different ways to fight stress but today, we will focus on the most delicious way! Here are the top foods that could keep you smiling even during the most difficult, nerve-racking situations.  

Complex carbohydrates

Instead of simple carbs like white bread, cookies and soft drinks, you want to uplift your mood with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grains, and pastas. Complex carbs stimulate the production of serotonin – the “feel good” chemicals in the brain. It also makes you feel balanced by stabilising your blood sugar levels. Moreover, complex carbs take make you feel longer and bolster your energy levels, preparing you for a tough, stressful day at work.

Spinach

Spinach is a good source of magnesium which does a big role in keeping stress hormones under control. This nutrient regulates the cortisol levels (hormones produced when a person is stressed), but gets depleted when you are under pressure. Lack of magnesium could lead to headache and fatigue – major symptoms of stress. Other foods high in magnesium are salmon, cocoa powder, bran, and nuts.

Black tea

If you have anxiety issues, don’t drink coffee. Have a cup of warm black tea instead. In a study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, it was found that those who consumed four cups of black tea a day were calmer and had lower cortisol levels during stressful situations.

Pistachios

A handful of these flavourful nuts a day could keep heart disease at bay, studies show. Pistachios have the ability to lower down blood pressure which plays a big role in stabilising stress.  So during those times when your adrenaline rush is surging, your blood pressure will not go up too high.

Broccoli

This vegetable is widely known for its amazing health benefits. It belongs to the top anti-cancer foods. But aside from keeping you physically healthy, broccoli contains folic acid which aids in the management of stress.

Sweets and chocolates

You do not need a lot of sweets and other sugary treats to experience a reduction in your stress levels. Just a little sugar on your tongue is enough to boost your mood. Study shows that foods high in sugar lowers down the production of glucocorticoid – a stress hormone linked to larger fat deposits in the stomach. Dark chocolates are the best source of antioxidant that stimulates the production of endorphins. When shopping, look for dark chocolates that contain at least 70% of cocoa.

Salmon, mussels and other fish

Deal with stress more effectively by eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are mainly found in sea food. If you don’t like eating fish, you can just take supplements that contain such essential fats.

Almonds

A handful of almonds are loaded with vitamin E and B which strengthen your immune system, making you more resilient to the effects of stress. Almonds are also rich in magnesium. 

Milk

Can’t sleep? Drink a glass of warm milk. Studies show that calcium reduces muscle spasms and help reduce tension. It also gives you relief from anxiety and mood swings that are associated with pre menstrual syndrome. If you are watching your weight, stick to skimmed milk or low fat milk.

Raw vegetables

Instead of pigging out on a bowl of chips and cookies, munch on raw vegetables like carrots, celery, and other vegetables. Doing this helps release a clenched jaw which takes away headaches caused by tension. Also, raw vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients and enzymes that bolster your immune system and make you more fit to manage stress.

Have a less stressful life ahead!

 

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