Everyday food items to save the day.
There are many ways to manage and even reduce stress levels. Food can be one of your biggest allies or enemies, but, the good thing is, fighting stress with food is a tactic available to everyone. Unhealthy eating patterns can send stress levels skyrocketing and potentially increase your risk of health problems if you don’t address them. So the next time you’re feeling the pressure, turn to these beneficial staples stored in your pantry.
Research suggests that holding and sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of interpersonal “warmth” and friendliness. Certain herbs, like lavender and chamomile, have shown to have a relaxing effect. Green tea on the other hand, is perfect if you need a small jolt of caffeine because it’s full of flavonoids, which support brain health. However, unlike herbal teas, green tea should be consumed earlier to increase your chances of a good night’s rest.
This delectable treat can reduce stress through its chemical, and emotional impact. Chocolate is seen as an indulgence and it can be a real treat to simply nibble a piece of it, and that feeling alone can help to reduce stress. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and may help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body. Don’t forget to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation, and make sure the bar doesn’t contain an unnecessary surplus of added sugar.
Carbohydrates can temporarily increase levels of serotonin, the hormone that boosts mood and reduces stress. When serotonin levels increase, people under stress have better concentration and focus. Choose healthy, unrefined carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes and whole grains, for better nutrition. Unrefined carbs cause a quick spike and crash of blood sugar, while complex carbs contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Fiber can also support a healthy gut microbiome, reach for high-fiber foods, including whole rye, buckwheat, and brown rice.
Nuts are full of nutrients, including B vitamins, along with healthy fatty acids. B vitamins are an important part of a healthy diet and can help reduce stress. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts may even help lower blood pressure levels. Pistachios in particular can have a role in reducing stress levels. Nuts and seeds are also high in magnesium, and magnesium has been linked to better anxiety management.
Avocados are delicious mashed into guacamole or sliced and added to a salad, and the best part is that it offers omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety. The benefits are endless as it also helps boost concentration, and improve mood. Avocados are super foods because their benefits go beyond their omega-3 fatty acids. It has also been linked to better diet quality and nutrient intake as well as a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure and obesity.
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