18 Best Foods That Fight Stress

By on October 7, 2015
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At some point of your life, you probably experienced too many problems that lead you to think that it’s the end of the road for you. This thinking leads one thing to another and it makes you sick over time. It’s called stress.

Stress is your body’s reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it’s an omnipresent part of life.

Reasons of Stress

Stress is caused by various reasons depending on a person’s life. There are both external and internal causes.

The most common external reasons of stress include work or school, difficulties in relationships, financial problems, being too busy and sometimes your own family.

On the other hand, there are these causes that you yourself inflict on your own. This includes worrying too much, pessimism, negative self-talk, unrealistic expectations or perfectionism, rigid thinking and lack of flexibility, and all-or-nothing attitude.

Dealing with Stress

You may feel like the stress in your life is out of your control, but you can always control the way you respond. Stress management can teach you healthier ways to cope with stress, help you reduce its harmful effects, and prevent stress from spiraling out of control again in the future.

The simplest way to deal with stress is to get out and engage socially. Opening up to someone is not a sign of weakness and it won’t make you a burden to others. In fact, most friends will be flattered that you trust them enough to confide in them, and it will only strengthen your bond.

You also need to get moving. Physical activity plays a key role in managing stress. Activities that require moving both your arms and your legs are particularly effective. Walking, running, swimming, dancing, and aerobic classes are good choices, especially if you exercise mindfully (focusing your attention on the physical sensations you experience as you move).

Lifestyle change is also important in managing stress. It involves setting aside time for relaxation, getting plenty of sleep and eating a healthy diet.

On this article, I will be focusing more on the healthy diet part. The following foods have been proven to help with managing stress.

1. Asparagus

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This spring vegetable is not only high in antioxidants (ideal for combating oxidative stress) but also a good source of tryptophan, an important amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, which helps us sleep and supports a healthy mood.

“Serotonin deficiency is the most common cause of panic attacks,” says Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure. Whether you have a full-blown anxiety or panic attack or are simply just experiencing too much stress, eat more serotonin-containing foods.

2. Avocados

We need B vitamins for healthy nerves and brain cells, and feelings of hysteria are also unmoving during a vitamin B complex deficiency. Avocados area unit wealthy in stress-relieving B vitamins. They are additionally high in monounsaturated fat and metal that facilitate lower force per unit area.

Next time stress has you reaching for a pint of full-fat frozen dessert, select a non-dairy DIY version created with avocado integrated with a ripe banana, seasoning, nut milk, and nonnutritive sweetener.

3. Berries

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The antioxidants in berries can help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals that can lead to illness. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best sources.

4. Cashews

Cashews are a tiny package of iron, magnesium, Vitamin B6, protein and important amino acids, and even omega 3 fats. All of these nutrients directly ward off mild depression and anxiety naturally.

5. Chamomile Tea

If you’ve been feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed, you may find soothing relief in a cup of chamomile tea. Steep a cup, and inhale its wonderful fragrance for some beneficial aromatherapy, and then feel your anxiety and worry melt away as you sip this delicious brew. Make it a part of your daily routine for full, long-lasting benefits.

6. Chocolate

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Besides the healthy antioxidants in this treat, which push chocolate to the top of most heart-healthy food lists, it has an undeniable link to mood. A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine reports that both women and men eat more chocolate as depressive symptoms increase. Of course, we’ve all been there, polishing off an entire package of chocolate after a bad day. But there’s evidence that, in moderation, chocolate does actually make you feel better.

Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. It contains more polyphenols and flavonols—two important types of antioxidants—than some fruit juices. You can safely allow yourself dark chocolate as a snack once a week, or as a conscious indulgence, and still stay on track with your weight loss results. I always keep a few squares in my bag.

7. Garlic

As a restorative herb, garlic can play a major role in balancing a stressful life and a fatigued body. Besides protecting us against a whole host of diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure and hypertension (which already should give us a good measure of relief!!), garlic serves as a tonic, that is, it works to actually REDUCE fatigue and other symptoms of stress in the body. It also works to increase energy levels, improve physical stamina and even extend our life expectancy!

8. Green Tea

A recent study has shown that if you drink five cups of green tea each day, you may reduce occurrences of psychological distress by up to 20 percent. A study consisting of 42,093 Japanese individuals found that 2,774 people (approximately 6.6%) were victims of psychological stress. However, this number was significantly lower among green tea drinkers, suggesting that green tea can actually improve one’s psychological health. The research, which was led by Atsushi Hozawa of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, was outlined in an online publication of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

9. Oranges

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Known for having vitamin C, oranges are another stress reducer. They strengthen the immune system, lower the levels of stress hormones, and can help reduce blood pressure. If you know you’re going to be in a situation that causes you high levels of stress, pack an orange and eat it early in the day.

10. Oysters

Oysters are unusual and delicious molluscs that provide the human body with a number of unique nutrients and minerals, which subsequently result in some great health benefits. These include the ability of oysters to aid weight loss attempts, boost metabolic activity, increase tissue repair and growth, lower your cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, improve your immune functions, aid in wound healing, and promote healthy growth. Furthermore, they are considered a powerful aphrodisiac, can improve blood circulation, and increase bone strength to reduce osteoporosis.

11. Walnuts

Regularly eating a handful of walnuts can affect the blood pressure response to stress, according to a new study.

“People who show an exaggerated biological response to stress are at higher risk of heart disease,” study author Sheila G. West, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University, says in a news release. “We wanted to find out if omega 3-fatty acids from plant sources would blunt cardiovascular responses to stress.”

12. Milk

A protein found in milk is the latest treatment for stress. The protein, lactium, appears to have a calming effect on the body by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone released when the body is stressed.

Chronic stress is linked to a range of conditions, including depression and heart disease. Scientists first began studying the stress-busting qualities of milk over 20 years ago, spurred on by the observation that babies become calm and settled after feeding on milk.

13. Almonds

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Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.

The powerful antioxidants in almonds are largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin.

14. Salmon

With 48 grams of protein per eight-ounce serving, the pink fillet has become a staple in our diets. It fuels your gains, keeps you lean, and is ready to eat in minutes—the definition of a worryfree meal. But beyond being simple to make, salmon may also cure your woes in other ways.

Researchers at Ohio State University discovered that taking 2.5g of omega-3s (or having 12 to 15 ounces of salmon) can reduce stress and anxiety by more than 20%. The study found similar results when diets were laden with other fatty fish or a fish oil supplement.

15. Spinach

We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been helping to protect himself against inflammatory problems, oxidative stress-related problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers at the same time.

Even though virtually all vegetables contain a wide variety of phytonutrients—including flavonoids and carotenoids—spinach can claim a special place among vegetables in terms of its phytonutrient content. Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents.

16. Oatmeal

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Foods can help tame stress in several ways. Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm oatmeal, boost levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Like other foods it can cut levels of cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones that take a toll on the body over time. A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

17. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain iron. Most people are aware that we need the mineral iron to have adequate energy, but iron plays other important roles in our body, including red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper im­mune functioning, and the metabolizing of protein, among other things.

Sweet potatoes are also a good source of mag­nesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral.

18. Brown Rice

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Health benefits of brown rice include better functioning of cardiovascular system, digestive system, brain and nervous system. It is loaded with powerful antioxidants which provide relief from a range of ailments such as hypertension, unhealthy levels of cholesterol, stress, mental depression and skin disorders.

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Resources:

http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/13-healthy-foods-reduce-stress-and-depression/avocados
http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/eat-to-beat-stress-10-foods-that-reduce-anxiety/netseer
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/stress-fighting-foods

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