Foods that Help Relieve Stress

By Tess Thompson



Stress may seem to be unavoidable these days. However, the fact of the matter is that in most cases, we are responsible for the stress in our lives. It is only convenient for us to lay the blame on others or life situations.

Stress can be caused due to a number of psychological or physical factors. In our race to the top, we tend to overwork ourselves (mostly in a poor posture) and invite physical stress. We prefer to look at situations and circumstances from a negative point of view because that allows us a convenient scapegoat. Yet, this habit of looking at the negative side of events becomes a major cause of mental stress.

There are many ways to relieve stress if you are looking at typical stress relief after you are stressed out already. Believe it or not, sometimes simply screaming at a wall helps in giving a sense of wellness and control. The best techniques for stress management, however, are physical relaxation, focusing on breathing, and avoiding stressors.

Stress can be managed by consuming the right kind of foods. This is especially because stress causes certain physiological changes in our system that can be managed well with a good diet.

Stress can disrupt blood sugar levels to a great extent. Avoid foods with added sugar to maintain blood sugar levels. Caffeine is a stimulant, but contributes to anxiety as well. If you must indulge, then drink tea instead of coffee and other caffeinated drinks, since tea has 66% less caffeine as compared to coffee.

Foods for stress relief are the ones that supply sufficient vitamins for the synthesis of serotonin. People with vitamin deficiencies are more prone to stress than those who eat a balanced diet that ensures sufficient supply of Vitamin B and B complex vitamins.

  • Vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables are a healthy source of vitamin B. Consuming broccoli that is rich in folic acid, another vitamin B, which is essential for cell growth and reproduction, helps in the reduction of stress.
  • Almonds are rich in vitamin B2, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. Eat almonds to satisfy your urge to snack, but make sure you eat small quantities at a time, as they also rich in fat.
  • Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly and keep you satiated for longer periods.
  • Choose fish over red meats, as they are full of all important B vitamins. Vitamin B12 is one of the important vitamins involved in production of serotonin, and its deficiency can even lead to depression.

Although there is no medical evidence to support the belief that consumption of certain foods can relieve stress of any type, we often see people indulge in binge eating or eating treats they enjoy to get rid of occasional stress. This aspect of managing stress can be used in a better way to provide specific nutrients to prevent stress.

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=fightdz&dbid=3
http://www.askmen.com/sports/fitness_top_ten/45_fitness_list.html

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