Health

Fight Stress With Healthy Foods

Stress management can be a powerful tool for staying healthy. People who are under constant stress are more vulnerable to everything from colds to high blood pressure and heart disease. Although there are many ways to cope, one solution is to eat stress-fighting foods.

Foods can fight stress in several ways. Comfort foods, like  bowls of warm oatmeal, actually boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Other foods can reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time. Nutritious diet can counteract the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

The list below contains the best foods to soothe stress and counteract the damage that chronic pressure does to your body. Stock up on the lot of them so that when the tension rises, you can beat stress instead of freaking out.

Carbohydrates

All carbohydrates prompt the brain to make more serotonin. For a steady supply of this feel-good chemical, it’s best to eat complex carbs, which are digested more slowly. Good choices include wholegrain breakfast cereals, bread, pastas, and porridge. Complex carbs can also help you feel balanced by stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Blueberries and Oranges

Besides having been identified as one of the healthiest foods around, oranges are very high in vitamin C. Studies suggest this vitamin can reduce levels of stress hormones while strengthening the immune system. Also, blueberries contain a high amount of fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Almonds, Pistachios, & Walnuts

When all hell breaks loose, reach for a handful of almonds. They’re bursting with vitamin E, an antioxidant that bolsters the immune system. Eating a handful of pistachios, walnuts, or almonds every day may help lower your cholesterol, reduce inflammation in the arteries of the heart, lower the risk of diabetes, and protect you against stress.

Milk

Another bedtime stress buster is a glass of warm milk. Researchers have found calcium can reduce muscle spasms and soothe tension, as well as ease anxiety and mood swings linked to PMS. Dieticians usually recommend skim or low-fat milk.

Avocados

One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure is to get enough potassium—and half an avocado has more potassium than a medium-sized banana. In addition, guacamole offers a nutritious alternative when stress has you craving a high-fat treat.

Green vegetables

Broccoli, kale, and other dark green vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins that help replenish our bodies in times of stress. Popeye never lets stress get the best of him—maybe it’s all the magnesium in his spinach. Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue, compounding the effects of stress. One cup of spinach goes a long way toward replenishing magnesium stores.

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