Stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Pressure turns into stress when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels stressful to one person may be motivating to someone else. Many of life’s demands can cause stress, particularly work, relationships and money problems. And, when you feel stressed, it can get in the way of sorting out these demands, or can even affect everything you do. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works. In fact, common signs of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating.
Even though is a mental thing, stress can cause a lot of serious physical problems. Some people are more prone to stress than others, cause of many reasons, such as: their lifestyle, job position, relationship, etc. The best way to fight stress is to go on vacation and relax. Also a regular exercising can fight the effects of stress. But, did you know that some foods are really great to fight stress and others actually increase the effects of stress.
Here are the top 10 foods you should add to your healthy diet for fighting stress:
All fruits are really great for fighting stress, but Blueberries are in the top 3 list. They are full with antioxidants, and we all know that antioxidants are great stress relievers. Blueberries are also good with reducing the effects of depression, insomnia and mood disorders.
Another fruit in the top 3 stress fighting fruits list is orange. They are high in vitamin C that helps boost your immunity and is also an antioxidant, which fights free radicals. Stress tends to increase free radical load on the body. Oranges also have significant amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin B as well as a variety of healthy minerals.
Avocados contain a good amount of minerals, protein, and vitamins C and E. They are also high in fiber, potassium and healthy fat. All these nutrients help regulate stress hormones by keeping your nerves and brain cells healthy. Eating one-half or whole avocado daily can significantly lower your blood pressure level and reduce your stress hormone level.
- Green Tea
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins. All these antioxidants have a calming effect on the mind and body that can be a great help in creating a positive mood and relieve stress. Plus, it contains an amino acid called theanine that promotes relaxation and improves focus and attention. People who drink green tea every day are healthier and have less chances of getting stressed out. If you don’t like drinking green tea, you should try black tea.
People who regularly drink milk feel less stressed. Just one glass of milk provides your body with a good amount of antioxidants along with vitamins A and D, calcium and protein. All these nutrients will help you calm down and help fight free radicals that are released in the body when you feel stressed. The best stress fighting meal is a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, or you can drink a glass of warm milk before going to bed to sleep better.
Salmon is a fish that contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids with strong anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-3 fatty acids boost brain chemicals like serotonin that help maintain a happy feeling, and regulate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. At the same time, omega-3 fatty acids help the brain function more efficiently. Two or three servings of salmon per week are recommended. Along with salmon, you can eat other oily fish such as mackerel, tuna and sardines.
- Brown rice
Brown rice contains a good amount of B vitamins, which are extremely important for maintaining cells, tissues and organs. Vitamins B work as natural mood stabilizers and also help in brain functioning, healthy red blood cells, immunity and cardiac functioning. It’s much healthier alternative to white rice. When the body gets an adequate amount of B vitamins, you’ll be better able to fight off stress and many associated mood disorders.
Spinach contains a good amount of minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus that help reduce stress hormones in the body and stabilize mood. It’s also rich in A, B and C vitamins. If you add just one cup of spinach in your healthy diet, it can have calming effects on the body. There are many easy ways to include spinach in your diet. You can add it to your omelet, wrap, sandwich or salad.
Almonds are high in vitamins B and E, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and healthy oils that provide stress fighting benefits. You can eat almonds raw or roasted as a healthy snack, or you can include almonds in desserts and baked goods. They are extremely useful for boosting energy levels, control your stress levels and reduce the high blood pressure.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which is a mineral that helps fight stress, fatigue, depression and irritability. Just by eating a ½ of dark chocolate daily can greatly reduce the level of stress hormones in the body. A lot of people like dark chocolate, so whenever you feel stressed, eat some dark chocolate and it will soon boost your mood and reduce your stress level. You can also try a warm glass of chocolate milk or any kind of dessert that has dark chocolate in it.