Super Foods that Reduce Stress
When you’re stressed, it’s a natural impulse to grab something to eat. It gives you at least temporary energy, and reduces your anxiety level. But the food you reach for is not usually the healthiest choice. The next time deadlines are creeping your way, skip the donut. Instead, try one of these healthy superfoods to help you relieve stress.
1: Green leafy vegetables
Along with their dietary and nutrition benefits, these traditional health-promoting foods contain folate. This B complex vitamin increases your level of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that makes you feel good. This increase gives you feelings of well-being and pleasure, and helps you become or remain happy and calm. So when a deadline looms, try a salad instead of sweets. Ingredients to seek out in particular for the best folate boost include broccoli, collard greens, green leaf or Romaine lettuce, kale and spinach. Some non-leafy foods that also contain folate are black beans, cauliflower, chickpeas, lentil and papayas.
The amino acids found in turkey increase your body’s level of serotonin, the chemical regarded as responsible for maintaining mood balance. A deficit of serotonin is thought to lead to depression, while increases in it release feelings of happiness. For vegetarians, or when it’s hard to prepare a turkey meal or snack, there are other sources of serotonin, including beans, lentil, nuts and tofu.
One of the most common cravings when under stress is for a quick load of carbs. But too many carbs come with too much sugar attached: donuts and cupcakes, for example. The carbs in oatmeal also help your brain produce serotonin, the feel-happy chemical described above. But unlike pastries, oatmeal doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike. For an added feel-good boost, add blackberries, which not only are delicious but offer multiple health benefits of their own.
The Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help combat the negative effects of stress hormones. An added benefit is that these properties can lower the risk of heart disease. Other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include a variety of other types of fish, as well as chia seeds and walnuts.
These powerful little nuts contain key phytonutrients that aid in cardiovascular health. This effect can reduce stress by decreasing blood pressure and lowering your heart rate. Pistachios pack in a lot of nutrients and protein, while also being low in fat and calories.
All of these benefits of healthy foods in relieving stress point to a larger truth: taking care of your body plays a vital role in your mental well-being. Eating well is one of the most important aspects of taking care of your body. And if you keep your body healthy through healthy eating, you will not only find it easier to deal with negatives like stress, you’ll also be able to find more positives and enjoy life more.
Of course, eating well isn’t the only method to attain physical and mental wellbeing, or even a sufficient method. Taking care of yourself involves using every technique possible to stay healthy in every way. Massages help both your body and your mind feel better. So to make sure you’re caring for yourself the best you can, and on an ongoing basis, make sure you schedule regular massages at Modoma.
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