Stress is observed in most households nowadays. We see almost everyone facing some sort of stress. It’s taken as a norm now but bear in mind that most of the health issues spring up because of stress. Stress can be for anything! Most of it is surrounded by staggering financial issues, exams getting near, or even day to day workloads!
Interestingly, stress and anxiety have the close relation to the food we eat. Where some foods in our diet can reduce our stress level others can induce stress. For people who chronically suffer from a depression disorder, it is suggested that they should modify their food habits to reduce their stress level. Serotonin and dopamine are the chief chemicals that keep you mind calm, soothed and relaxed. Magnesium has similar qualities. The chief source of serotonin is simple carbohydrates; for dopamine, it is fatty and high-calorie foods and for magnesium, it is green vegetables. Therefore, it is advised by researchers to include these in your diet to boost up your emotional state. The reason for carbohydrate craving during stress is depleted levels of serotonin. Unhealthy habits can lead to different health implications as well. It is considered that a clean diet reduces the chances of feeling stressful and lethargic throughout the day. Some of the items mentioned below can help you remain active throughout the day and keep stress at bay!
Switching your dietary habits to clean eating can undoubtedly enhance your metabolism. This makes you feel active and in order to reduce stress one must feel active enough to tackle it and find daily distractions to take care of stress. Here are some of the items that can help you handle stress better!
Oats are an essential source of whole-grain and simple carbohydrates. These healthy carbohydrates are rich in fiber. Therefore, they are absorbed slowly across the intestine and that is why their effects are longer in duration. Oats can be served as granola, or as just plain old oatmeal spiced up or sweetened by natural additives such as fruits, nuts, or regular spice and herbs. Oatmeal can be a basic foundation on which you can line up your taste palette accordingly.
- Dark Chocolate:
Everyone knows this by now, and if you don’t- it’s okay we’ve got you covered! Better than milk chocolate or white chocolate or any kind of chocolate; dark chocolate proves to be the healthiest. Not only does this little dose of heaven helps you boost your metabolism and regulate your blood sugar levels, the chemical magic in chocolate is its phenethylamine and flavonoids. Phenethylamine elevates the mood and flavonoids calm the mind.
As a city that functions mostly on dry fruits in the winter, it isn’t surprising to find these beauties in every nook and corner of the city. These all are loaded with vitamin E, zinc, and selenium which are essential in elevating the levels of calming hormones. Along with that, almonds also have magnesium which again is beneficial in reducing stress levels by boosting up the production of serotonin. These also help in feigning fullness of the stomach which can help in preventing binge eating or stress eating.
Milk is rich in protein whey. Whey is converted to serotonin inside our bodies. How important serotonin is to regulate our moods, you know it really well by now. These chemical hormones help induce a feeling of contentment. Milk might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is beneficial to us all.
Fish has been classified as the healthiest meat. Omega-3 fatty acids of fish play a pivotal role in maintaining optimum levels of serotonin to maintain a cheerful mood. Along with this boosting of cheerful chemicals, omega-3 fatty acids reduce the levels of the depressing chemical which include cortisol. Tuna and Salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
The antioxidants in ginger help to relieve anxiety headaches. Ginger tea, moreover, is best for curing sore throats and clearing out skin.
The magnesium in spinach is the magical ingredient. It elevates serotonin levels to calm and soothe the mind. We all remember Popeye don’t we now? Spinach gives you super human strength!
The tons of potassium in avocados are responsible suppressing the blood pressure elevated during stress. It’s also one of the main ingredients responsible for better hair growth and maintenance.
- Vitamin C:
All sources of vitamin C including oranges, blueberries, raspberries etc not only elevate serotonin but also depress cortisol and make for foods that reduce stress. Papaya is an efficient source of vitamin C. It is said that taking Half papaya implies a double dosage of vitamin C present in a regular orange. Therefore it provides enough vitamin C to keep your mood blissful and happy. Blueberries are rich in an antioxidant known as anthocyanin. It is known to have positive effects on your cognitive thinking and helping fight stress. Berries such as strawberries, raspberries etc are known to be rich in Vitamin C, which is known to be a good part of an anti anxiety diet or an anti cortisol diet. Vitamin C works by reducing the levels of cortisol in the body, which is a major stress hormone. It also helps keep your blood pressure in check at times of extreme stress or in a fight or flight response, and helps the body clear excess of sugar so that blood sugar levels don’t get too much out of hand.
- Green Tea/Peppermint Tea/Chamomile Tea:
Green tea has been regarded as a remedy for anxiety attacks and stress headaches. It relaxes your mind and soul and lightens up your mood. Peppermint tea is helpful for those who suffer from lack of concentration due to anxiety. It keeps your mind alert and focused on the task ahead.. Chamomile tea has a really refreshing taste. But it’s not just the taste that gives you satisfaction; chamomile tea has been proved to have calming effects on the brain that are definitely worth mentioning. A study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania tested the effects of chamomile supplements on students that had General Anxiety Disorder. After a few days, their progress was assessed and they proved to have better control over their anxiety symptoms. So chamomile tea can definitely be considered as an effective part of an anxiety diet, and could be considered as one of the foods that are stress relievers. So instead of relying on supplements, go natural and make use of chamomile tea and its refreshing taste. Studies have also proven that this particular tea also promotes sleep; another way to calm your nerves and combat stress.
- Black Tea:
Black tea is known to help you relax your nerves and keeps your fight and flight response under control. One of the best anti stress foods, it contains flavonoids that are known to have a relaxing effect on the body. Black tea does have caffeine which is known to increase blood pressure and heart rate, so make sure you don’t go overboard with that relaxing cup of tea.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants; meaning it helps the body get rid of harmful free radicals that harm the body in many ways. It neutralizes them and even helps reduce the levels of free radicals and prevent them from damaging the body while simultaneously healing some damage they may have caused. Garlic also helps boost our immunity and since stress is bound to weaken your body’s defense mechanism, garlic can aid you in getting back on track. You can incorporate garlic in healthy meals so that you can extract maximum benefits out of them. You can even chew them raw to make the process even faster.
So, if you’re feeling stressed. We understand that it might not be the best time to make drastic changes in your life. Trust me, we’ve all been there. Stress gets to us all. All that we can do is take control over our lives and do that by tiny treats. Who doesn’t feel great after eating something healthy. Personally, it’s like a change from the usual unhealthy track of life that did nothing but make me feel like walking in a pit of darkness. Eating healthy can sometimes be the treat that helps you revive hope within yourself of better days and a better life ahead!