Under stress – whether it’s work, study or a relationship, dietary habits change dramatically. Some people lose their hunger when under stress and others tend to overeat – fatty foods, often sugars and junk. Blame stress on making poor food choices is not always the right approach. In fact, making the right food choices will help stabilize blood sugar levels and your emotional response. Good nutrition helps balance your stress hormones, relieve stress and boost your mood.
Here are 8 foods to stretch out when you’ve done enough that will put you at ease.
COIRCE: Being a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a chemical that feels good. Serotonin soothes you and makes you feel good. Oats are also rich in beta-glucan, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and also helps with weight management.
NUTS: Nuts help replenish stress-depleted B vitamin stores. The B vitamins help us manage the fight or flight response in stress. The potassium in nuts helps to keep the blood pressure under check and thus reduce the pressure on the heart.
SALMON: Eating salmon regularly has been linked to reducing the risk of depression due to its omega 3 fatty acids. It can reduce stress and anxiety in individuals when eaten even twice a week.
GREEN LEAFY: The leafy greens contain folate which produces dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is involved in the emotional regulation of the brain so it keeps you happy. In addition to folate, magnesium in the leafy greens helps keep us calm and well.
SEEDS: Seeds like sunflower seeds, flax seeds, whiskey seeds, etc. have stress reducing benefits. These tiny potions are rich in magnesium which promotes a healthy nervous system. They are also full of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin which helps you feel calm.
AVOCADOS: Avocados are rich in stress relieving B vitamins, Vitamin C and folate. They also contain potassium which naturally helps to lower blood pressure. That makes them one of the best foods to relieve stress and anxiety.
MILK: Milk contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” chemical known to promote relaxation and calm in humans. And, milk taken with another carbohydrate will help with the absorption of tryptophan.
LENTILS & BEANS: Stress can be detrimental to nerve health. Lentils and beans are rich in magnesium, folate and potassium which help to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety and promote brain health.
Researchers have found that eating a diet of processed foods, sugars and fats increases the chances of stress and depression. So, as a general rule, stay away from these foods if you want to improve your mood. A healthy diet not only helps maintain a healthy body weight but also helps keep emotions in order.