Nothing can ever replace the damage caused by stress to your body. Busy schedules, work deadlines, and other environmental factors promote stress and reduce the natural defenses in your body. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to combat stress. Healthy eating has a positive effect in reducing stress in a natural and effective way. Here are 5 top foods that help combat stress…
Blueberries are a proven stress buster. It is crammed with antioxidants such as anthocyanin, that revive and rejuvenates damaged cells in the body and relieves stress. In addition to that, it neutralizes free radicals in the body and prevents cell damage. It also improves the body’s response to the fight or flight response and anxiety. Blueberries also improve immunity, which again, plays a vital role in reducing stress. This berry has also been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
2. Dark Chocolate
Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time your stressed out. Chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Not all chocolates have the power to combat stress in an effective way though, but dark chocolate does!
Dark chocolate, in particular, is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, 2 hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices. It has a relaxing effect on your body. Studies reveal that consumption of dark chocolate shows a reduction in cortisol (stress hormone), thereby relieving stress. The cocoa has a high amount of antioxidants that lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels. Experts say, to go for chocolate that has over 70% cocoa to feel that calming effect.
If you are not trying to lose weight, avocados may prove to be beneficial for combating stress. The creamy fruit contains glutathione that blocks the absorption of fats responsible for oxidative damage. This fruit also increases satiety and you feel more satisfied. This reduces stress and promotes better health. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocados, as it is high in fat. Consider limiting your intake by adding just half an avocado into your lunch.
Nuts have always been a great snack, but cashews have an added advantage. The crunchy nut is packed with proteins and omega-3s that reduce cravings and make you feel full. They are rich in zinc that helps in preventing stress.
Zinc deficiency is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety. So, replenishing your zinc levels may help in preventing stress altogether. Having a few cashews every day may be beneficial for anyone. They can also be a great snack for those trying to lose weight due to its high protein content. Its a win-win situation!
Eating salmon has many health benefits. The major one being stress relief. This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies show that it helps in reducing the stress hormone cortisol as well as adrenaline. It also induces a calming effect. People who consume salmon on a regular basis have shown a reduced level of stress as compared to those who do not. In addition to that, salmon is also a great food for your heart.
There are many foods out there that can help to reduce stress and bring some calm into your life through food. In a week or so, I will be doing a series on how you can eat your way to a calmer self so stay tuned!!
To the eating your stress away,
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P.S.S- Want a cookbook to that incorporates all of these foods that combat stress? Check it out HERE.