Foods to Relieve Stress

Healthy and nutritious foods  are the simplest methods for relieving stress. These methods are not only cost effective but readily available – and without any side effects. Foods with high vitamin and mineral levels actively help to relieve stress.

Stress is pretty much a part of our everyday life. Some foods have been shown below to have beneficial effects on relieving stress:

  • Asparagus:
This green veggie is high in folic acid, which can help stabilize your mood. When you're stressed, your body releases hormones that affect your mood. Eating certain vitamins and minerals like folic acid and B vitamins can help keep your mood steady because they're needed to make serotonin, which is a chemical that directly affects mood in a positive way.

  • Milk:
Milk is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12, as well as protein and calcium. The protein lactium has a calming effect by lowering blood pressure, while the potassium in milk can help relieve muscle spasms triggered by feeling tense. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk in the morning to start your day with a stress-fighting breakfast.

  • Blueberries:
Blueberries are crammed with antioxidants, especially vitamin C which has been shown to give the body added reserves to help it cope with high levels of stress. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage your cells and also help to repair and protect your body from the effects of stress. Mix the little suckers with some cottage cheese or eat them on their own as a snack or dessert.

  • Oranges:
Vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. Vitamin C is also well-known for boosting your immune system. Oranges and other citrus fruit are well-known for their high levels of vitamin C. As your body does not produce the vitamin naturally, it is important to eat vitamin C-rich foods to help your immune system function more efficiently under stress. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant – it helps to keep free radicals in check and to repair the body.

  • Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes can be particularly stress-reducing because they can satisfy the urge you get for carbohydrates and sweets when you are under a great deal of stress. They are packed full of beta-carotene and other vitamins, and the fiber helps your body to process the carbohydrates in a slow and steady manner.

  • Turkey and chicken:
Turkey and chicken are great sources of the amino acid tryptophan which helps to calm and improve your mind and explains why people feel so relaxed, and even sleepy, after a chicken or turkey meal. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical. Turkey is also an excellent source of protein, which helps to promote stable blood sugar levels and subsequently reduce stress.

  • Fish:
Fish like tuna and mackerel is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that help keep your adrenaline from spinning out of control, and also protect your heart from heart disease, which is often linked to stress. Fish is an important source of B-vitamins, especially the stress fighters B6 and B12, which help with the production of serotonin, the “happy” brain chemical. Furthermore, fish contains choline (another B-complex vitamin), a great memory booster.

  • Avocados:
Avocados are rich in stress-relieving B vitamins. They're also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Guacamole, made from avocado, just might be a healthy alternative when stress has you craving a high-fat treat. Avocados are high in fat and calories, though, so watch your portion size.

  • Nuts:
Nuts are great stress relievers. They are a rich source of the serotonin-booster tryptophan and packed with B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc. The B-vitamins and magnesium regulate mood and relieve stress by boosting serotonin, whereas zinc has been shown to fight some of the negative effects of stress. Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that destroys the free radicals related to stress and heart disease.

  • Bananas:
Bananas are filled with potassium, a mineral that can help reduce tension. Bananas are also great in pacifying and soothing the mind as they are rich in tryptophan, an amino acid which boosts the formation of serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and melatonin (the sleep hormone).

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