We all face stressful situations in our day to day lives, but how we handle it can make all the difference.
There are many ways to manage or reduce our stress levels. One of them is the food choices that we make. Food can be one of your dearest friends or enemies. It can make your stress levels rise or fall, so it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating when you’re feeling stressed out. Being stressed can increase your need for several nutrients, like magnesium, selenium, vitamin B, and vitamin C.
Unhealthy food choices can skyrocket your stress levels and might bring in health problems if you don’t address them. While short-term stress can lead to headaches, weight gain, and stomach cramps, chronic stress affects your digestive, reproductive systems, and even your immune system. If not taken care of, chronic stress can even increase your risk for conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression. That’s right: Stress doesn’t just make you grumpier; it can also make you sick.
Refined carbs such as potato chips and cookies increase your blood sugar and then cause it to crash, increasing stress. Choosing healthy foods, including healthy fats such as eggs, avocados, and walnuts, creates a favourable hormone signalling in the brain, which helps in mood regulation, sleep, and energy balance.
When you feel that you have little control over your stress, one thing you can get a grip on is your diet choices.So, the next time your stress levels are soaring high, fill your plate with these foods that are scientifically proven to help you feel less frazzled.
Healthy Drinks Options
1)Herbal Teas– Holding and sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of friendliness and warmth. There’s a soothing effect of sipping a warm drink, regardless of the flavour, but certain herbs, like chamomile and lavender, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on their own.
They can help protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins and promote memory, learning, and cognitive function.
2)Infused Water– Healthy fads come and go, but if one thing stays constant, it’s water. Staying hydrated does many good things to our mind and bodies.
Sipping on water throughout the day shouldn’t feel like a chore when it’s filtered. But if that clean glass of water isn’t tempting enough, infused water might offer a delicious and healthy option upgrade.
Avoiding things like carbs, refined sugar, and caffeine are always good things to do when you are anxious or stressed. The immediate effects of a caffeine or sugar rush can actually make the situation worse. Our bodies respond better to water and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies.
1) Nuts and Seeds– Nuts and seeds are a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which help reduce stress. Sunflower seeds contain tryptophan, which boosts serotonin production and can take the edge off a stressful day.
Rich in vitamins E and B2, almonds are one of the superfoods you absolutely must eat. Zinc in almonds will help you regulate your mood and reduce anxiety, and the healthy fat and iron in it will help you stay fit.
Research shows that walnuts can assist the body in dealing with tension in a better way. The nut, which contains polyunsaturated fats, can reduce blood pressure during times of stress.
2)Oatmeal– The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal helps you boost serotonin production. Although oats do not specifically help relieve anxiety, they are a good source of tryptophan which the body converts to serotonin. Plus, oats have a lot of calming potassium and magnesium, which help lower blood pressure. Have a bowl of oatmeal with some walnuts, cashews, and some cinnamon to stabilise your sugar levels, and you will be on your way to a more tranquil day.
Lunch / Dinner Options
1) Leafy greens– You might think that salads are boring, but they may be one of the best choices you can make for lowering stress. Leafy-green vegetables, such as kale and spinach and other raw fruits and veggies, are stress-busting powerhouse. As a rich source of magnesium, it can help regulate blood pressure levels. Plus, green veggies contain folate, which plays a vital role in producing the feel-good chemical dopamine.
2)Eggs– Eggs are referred to as nature’s multivitamin because of their rich nutrient profile. Whole eggs are packed with amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are important for a healthy stress response.
They are particularly rich in choline, a nutrient found in only a few foods. Choline plays a vital role in brain health and may protect you against stress and boost your mood.
3)Fish– Fight stress and prevent heart disease by adding seafood to your meals. Fatty fish, in particular, is a good option because their omega-3s may help ease depression as the nutrients easily interact with mood-related hormones. It includes tuna, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout.
If you are a vegetarian or do not like fish, you can try omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil. You can get it from your local grocery store or drugstore.
Fish oil is fine if you’re not eating a balanced diet that is rich in omega-3s. But it’s important to consult your doctor or dietitian before beginning a supplement routine, so you can figure out the best dosage for your health goals.
Studies have found that consuming fruits like oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and grapefruits may help ease stress levels.
Blueberries are rich in multiple health benefits, including improved mood. They are high in flavonoid antioxidants that have powerful neuro-protective and anti-inflammatory effects. They may help reduce inflammation and protect against stress-related cellular damage. Eating flavonoid-rich foods like blueberries may safeguard against depression and boost your mood.
Overeating Avocados might not be so healthy, but consuming regular portions of this super fruit might help to fill your belly and shut down stress-eating by making you feel more satisfied. This full feeling will make you less inclined to opt for unhealthy foods when stress kicks in.
Consuming Oranges are thought to be a great way to relax and lower stress levels due to its richness in vitamin C. “In addition to supporting immune function, which can be weakened by stress, this key nutrient helps reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can wreak havoc on your body. The effects of an extended high cortisol level can include increased appetite, fatigue, brain fog, and increased weight gain, particularly belly fat.
1)Dark Chocolate– Dark chocolate can reduce stress in two ways, i.e., via its emotional impact and its chemical impact. Chocolate feels like such a treat to simply savour a piece of it, and that feeling alone can help reduce stress.
Rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate may also help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body. But you should aim to eat only a small piece of it (about 1 oz). Also, make sure the bar doesn’t contain an unnecessary amount of added sugar.
It’s also really important to choose high-quality dark chocolate. Look on the label for ingredients such as cacao beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter.
2)Greek Yogurt– Protein helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals dopamine, which are neurotransmitters that carry impulses between nerve cells. Higher dopamine has been shown to improve alertness, mental energy, and reaction time. The ideal for mood-boosting is to combine complex carbohydrates and protein and to spread your meals throughout the day. Yogurt is a great food choice to include in your diet if you suffer from anxiety. The probiotics, or healthy bacteria, found in yogurt, may improve several aspects of your well-being, including mental health. It’s also important to keep in mind that not all yogurt contains probiotics. Choose a yogurt after reading the ingredients it contains for the benefits of probiotics.
Anxiety and stress are complicated mental health disorders that require various approaches to be managed effectively. The foods you eat may reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote better brain health. However, there are not enough studies to support food as a primary treatment for anxiety and, therefore, should not replace any therapies and medications recommended by your doctor.
Nonetheless, adding these food items to your meal is a great way to support brain health and overall well-being. Keep following BeatO for more healthy diet plans.
For all your diabetes-related answers, advice (Experts & Doctors) and for a quick chat with others in the #BeatOCommunity, join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1653229011657620/?ref=share