Feeling stressed? I suppose it might be easier to ask who isn’t feeling stressed since we’re likely to have far fewer of those people.
In fact, women all over the globe report feeling stressed out on a regular basis (with the highest concentration of stressed out chicks being in India).
While according to that linked article, women around the world report buying stuff like health products and clothing to relieve stress, the truth is that diet, along with exercise, can seriously combat stress and get us on the path to feeling our best and dealing with problems head on.
The Problem with Stress
Everyone reacts differently to stress, but a negative reaction could include procrastination, overeating, not eating enough, lack of sleep, or even too much sleep.
7 Foods That Give Stress a KO
Knock stress out by eating some or all of the following foods which are known for helping the body manage stress:
Break out your inner sous chef and whip up some guacamole this spring/summer. Avocados are chock full of vitamin B6, one of nature’s very best anti-stress nutrients.
Other foods full of B6: Green beans and bananas. Source.
As of there weren’t enough reasons to eat chicken (it is a killer source of protein), chicken has B12, which is just like B6 in its ability to relieve stress and elevate the mood. So keep coming up with great ways to serve up everyone’s favorite white meat, because it’ll do your body and your mind a whole lotta good.
Other foods full of B12: Salmon and sardines. Source.
Among other proteins, almonds help your body fend off stress via the amino acid called GABA. Like a drug, “GABA acts as the body’s natural form of valium and helps calm rather than excite the neurotransmitters of the central nervous system.” (SelfGrowth.com)
So next time you have to go to the dentist, maybe you should pop some almonds instead of valium. See if it works!
Good Old Oatmeal
I love oatmeal for breakfast, and as it turns out, it’s a nice complex carb which your body craves like, well, a drug. According to WebMD, complex carbs “prompt the brain to make more serotonin.”
Oatmeal’s also a great choice because it helps you feel fuller longer. At my place of work, they offer oatmeal and an assortment of dried fruits as toppings. Try it.
Specifically oranges, but just about any citrus fruit or veggie that has a high concentration of vitamin C, can help reduce “levels of stress hormones” (WebMD). Vitamin C also helps boost your immune system. It’s no wonder “immune boosting” products like Emergen-C feature both vitamin C and vitamin B’s, because together they increase your body’s ability to handle stress.
Snacks Before Bed
This one was new to me, but apparently eating just before bedtime can help you sleep better. I guess I know that to be true but not consciously. Whenever I can’t sleep, I’ll get something to snack on, but I thought it had to do with hunger primarily.
Truthfully, our bodies always know what is best for us! So throw out the “never eat after 6″ rule and grab something to munch if you’re feeling anxious and can’t sleep. Source.
This makes almost every article’s list of foods that help relieve/reduce stress. According to an article in LifeHack.org, the reason why is that black tea reduces cortisol, which “is a hormone linked to high stress levels.” So, drink up, my friends. I happen to love black tea with a little milk (another anti-stress food) and sugar (yet another anti-stress food). If you’re feeling a little stressed out, hit me up and we’ll throw back a cup of tea, English style, together.
What other foods do you believe help reduce stress? What’s your best kept stress-relieving food secret?
All images except oatmeal courtesy freedigitalphotos.net. Oatmeal image is courtesy moi.
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