Today we will discuss some super foods that fight stress. Stress is something which is a part of our lives, especially now, in this fast paces modern world. Stress is basically our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. According to latest research, we have 3 ways of dealing with stress; Immobilization (freezing – unable to do anything or think), mobilization (fight or flight – either standing down facing or running the other way. In both cases there is an adrenaline rush, quickening of heartbeat and blood pressure increase) and social engagement (the normal talking, interacting etc. which basically overrides the mobilization). This is a fact sheet on stress.
This response is because this is our body’s way of protecting you. Stress is sometimes good as it helps us stay focused, motivated, energetic and alert to meet the challenges we face. It helps us with our ambitions. Stress becomes worrisome when it becomes more distressing than challenging; when our body’s nervous system is unable to distinguish between daily stressor‘s and life-threatening events.
Around 50 common signs and symptoms of stress are pointed here along an illustration of how stress affects the body. Excessive stress can even lead to some short and long term problems such as coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, impaired learning ability and memory, high blood pressure and weak immune system. The following are some of the superfoods that help in fighting stress, some with immediate results when we need calming down. Exercise is also important though, to fight stress.
1. Green Tea
A strong anti-oxidant, green tea contains flavonoids, catechins and polyphenols. These all combined help in relaxing the body and mind, fighting the stress hormones and helping create a positive mood. Green tea also has amino acids which help in improving the mind’s focus and attention whilst calming it.
- Regularly drink green tea. The more you drink it, the more better your mood will be compared to those who do not have it at all.
- Drinking when stressed also provides quick relaxation.
- Black tea can also be alternated.
- Best results are on those people who do not drink alcohol or smoke.
- A detailed study on the benefits of green tea for stress.
2. Dark chocolate
One of the yummiest super foods especially of chocolate lovers. Dark chocolate is now, according to research, officially a stress buster. Dark chocolate is known to contain good amount of magnesium which not only helps fight depression, fatigue, irritability but also stress.
- Whenever you feel stressed, munch on some dark chocolate. It will immediately boost the mood and reduce the stress.
- Can also be taken in form of dessert of hot chocolate.
- Effects of dark chocolate on stress and its other various benefits are discussed here.
Nuts are another great stress relievers especially walnuts, cashews and almonds. This is because they are a powerhouse package of anti-oxidants, fiber, Vitamins B & E, magnesium, zinc and saturated fatty acids. They help with blood pressure, depression etc. Eating these nuts also helps in improving the moods and fighting stress.
- A very interesting twist to this super food, U.T.S. to explain stress better.
- Munch on nuts when stressed.
- Eat a handful of nuts daily but stick to one type of nuts like walnuts only or almonds only etc.
Great news for coffee addicts. Coffee is a great super food for fighting stress. Not only that but it is also packed with anti-oxidants which help fight diabetes, cancer and metabolic syndrome and improve brain function.
- Drink a cup daily or when stressed but do not overdo as the side-effects of excessive coffee drinking are not good.
- How coffee helps deal with various types of stress.
Avocado is one stress relieving fruit. It contains high amounts of nutrients such as Vitamins C & E, minerals, fiber, potassium, healthy fat etc and is rich in substance known as glutathione that specifically blocks intestinal absorption of certain fats that cause oxidative damage. All of these nutrients combined help not only with eyes but also fights stress by keeping the stress hormones, brain cells and nerves healthy.
- Eat half or full avocado daily. It also helps with high blood pressure.
- Can be eaten raw or in fruit salad, sandwich etc.
- Relation between avocado and stress along with a yummy recipe.
Berries are great anti-oxidant stress relievers especially the blueberries. They contain high amounts of Vitamins C & E, magnesium and manganese which help in reducing the stress. They also help in lowering the blood pressure and promote sharper cognition. Also good for immunity building, dealing with depression and insomnia.
- Eat the blueberries daily. You can have them and other berries raw or in form of fruit salad, smoothies and with yogurt etc.
Milk is one of the best natural stress busters. Milk is anti-oxidant containing Vitamins A & D, calcium and proteins. All these nutrients combined help fight stress and calm you down.
- Best make it part of your daily routine. Not only will it relax you but also keep your bones healthy and strong.
- Have it in breakfast with cereal or just have a warm glass of milk every night before bedtime for a good night’s sleep. More benefits for having milk at night before bedtime.
- An interesting research article on how a glass of milk helps with stress.
- You can substitute soy or other milk products if milk is not favoured.
Salmon is considered one of the super foods for majority things. It is a cold water fish which is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids good for many problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to boost brain chemicals like serotonin which basically give and maintain a happy feeling in the brain, regulate the stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and also help the brain function more efficiently. Salmon also contains strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Include salmon as part of your regular diet. Best would be to have 2-3 times a week.
- Other cold water fishes can also be alternated.
9. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a higher sugar plant which again is packed with fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants. Sweet potatoes also include a optimism boosting carotenoids which help in fighting against stress.
- This delicious super food can be eaten using a number of delicious recipes when stressed out.
10. Grass-fed Beef
What once used to be norm is now a luxury. Grass-fed beef is very healthy compared to grain-fed beef which tends to contain hormones, anti-biotic’s and others drugs in it. Grass-fed beef is a great natural anti-oxidant which includes Vitamins C & E, beta-carotene and high levels of Omega 3s. Beef liver is especially good for providing an array of protective nutrients that are protective at times of stress therefore help in calming down.
- You can have it in a form of steak or any way you prefer where you get maximum beef taste.