We all feel stressed out at some point in our lives. It’s a natural feeling that we go through when we are unable to cope with specific demands and events. It can hit us at any age be it adolescence or Teenage. Whether it be exams or domestic work or project submission or Target achieving.. Different situations result in different levels of stress. 

The high demands from work, college, studies, education, job, relationships, responsibilities, family, friends, peer pressure, financial issues etc create mess in our minds and cause stress which if not taken seriously might reach a level higher and convert into distress. 

This undermines a person’s physical, mental, social and emotional well being. Stress results in slowing down our normal body functions, our BP and Pulse rise, Breathing speeds up, Digestive mechanism slows down, Immune activity decreases and muscles are tensed. Various people have various responses to stress causing conditions or factors. Some cope up easily while others don’t. The latter face adverse effects of health. 

Worst and most horrific of all, stress leads to poor food choices. When you self-medicate with junk food, it can actually amplify and enhance anxiety damaging your health. But there are a few healthy foods that actually help offset stress. Once, you include these in your regular diet, and you’ll feel more grounded and more productive. You might even lose a few pounds in the process and start feeling full of life once again. 

Here are some of the great alternatives to the-not-good-for-health junk food that you can opt for 

  1. Vegetables Especially the green and leafy ones and Fruits. 

Veggies help the body in many ways. They contain folate, which is basically a vitamin that helps our body produce brain chemicals – serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals can be described as feel good chemicals in layman’s terms. When your stress level is high, you need these chemicals flowing in your body.

Spinach has a great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps us calm down. It also provides us fiber to boost our energy level and consequently lift our mood. You can try asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots too for that matter. They are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. They are beneficial for your heart, blood pressure and Mind.

Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, sweet lime, grapefruits etc are rice in vitamin C and thus are responsible for reducing stress levels. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that boosts your immune system. 

  1. Oatmeal or a cup of yogurt.

Oatmeal is like buying and accessing two benefits at a price of one offer. The complex carbohydrates in it not only helps reduce stress hormone levels but also boost serotonin levels, which produce a soothing feeling. The magnesium and potassium into it lowers BP. It’s best to Have a bowl of oatmeal with cashews and nuts for breakfast to lead a tranquil day ahead.

Fermented foods like yogurt or pickles can be high in probiotics, which are very much related to stress relief. Complex carbs like oatmeal are digested more slowly and don’t spike blood sugar. Preparing the essentials of breakfast the night before could reduce your stress in the morning. For the south indian cuisine aficionados, idli or dosa is also a great alternative.

  1. Dried Fruits or Nuts

Pistachios, walnuts and almonds are those types of snack-foods that help reduce stress levels. These are the best source of omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the stress causing cortisols. They also boost serotonin production and the DHA in Omega 3 fatty acids nourish the brain while mitigating the stress hormones. A couple servings of potassium-packed pistachios a day can lower blood pressure and reduce the strain stress puts on our heart.

Cashews and Sunflower seeds contain tryptophan that boosts serotonin production again to keep a stressful day at bay. 

  1. Herbal Tea or Green Tea. 

Drinking a warm Herbal Tea Helps Promote Feelings of Warmth and Calmness

Sometimes it’s the food or drinks, not the nutrients, that helps reduce stress. Drinking a warm cup of tea is one way to help make yourself feel calmer. Sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of interpersonal “warmth”.There’s a soothing effect of sipping a warm drink, regardless of the flavor — but certain herbs, like lavender and chamomile, honey, lime etc have a relaxing effect on their own,

 Apart from Herbal tea, green tea is perfectly fine as well, especially, when you need a small jolt of caffeine because it’s full of flavonoids which improve  brain health. They can help protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, suppress neuro-inflammation, and promote memory, learning, and cognitive function. 

Therefore, green tea can also be a preferable choice. 

  1. Whole Grains 

As mentioned, in the Vegetables point of the super stress buster foods.. You already now know that carbohydrates can temporarily increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that boosts mood and reduces stress. Once serotonin levels are increased, people under stress have better concentration and focus. Just make sure to choose healthy, unrefined carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes and whole grains, for better nutrition, and limit simple carbs, such as cookies, cake, and “white” foods, including white pasta and white bread. Unrefined carbs cause a quick spike in blood sugar, while complex carbs contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, with lesser immediate impact on blood sugar. 

  1. Avocados

Avocados dishes are everywhere.. From lavish Cruise parties to some famous restaurant’s menus. A delicious mash of it into guacamole or sliced and added to a salad is always worth eating and savouring. They offer omega-3 fatty acids which are known to reduce stress and anxiety, boost concentration, and improve mood. 

The possible superpower of avocados goes beyond their omega-3 fatty acids. They also consist of phytochemicals, fiber, and essential nutrients, avocados have been linked to better diet quality and nutrient intake as well as a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure and obesity. It’s important to note, however, that the survey only suggested an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, between eating avocados and these improved health markers and benchmarks.

  1. Dark Chocolate 

Chocolate is comfort food that everyone loves and searches about its benefits in blogs. It not only tickles the taste buds but also helps minimize the feeling of stress. It is found to be more effective in women than men. And both, dark and milk chocolate were equally effective. This is because of the cocoa solids present in both these types of chocolates rather than the sugar candy.

Dark chocolate in the diet can reduce stress in two ways, either via its chemical effect or its emotional impact. Chocolate feels like such an indulgence that it can be a real treat to simply savor a piece of it, and that feeling alone can help to reduce stress. I’m sure you know that feeling! 

Dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, may also help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body, But, careful here, be sure to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation. That means you should aim to eat only one-fourth of a small dark chocolate bar. Also, make sure the bar doesn’t contain an unnecessary surplus of added sugar. 

To be specific, look on the label for two or three ingredients only, such as cocoa beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter.

It bust stress, boost resilience and improve your well-being by following these expert tips.

Eating a healthful diet should provide all the nutrients needed for healthy brain function. A healthful diet that contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as vitamins and minerals might help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Reducing foods that are high in added sugar, salt, and fats especially trans fats may help reduce inflammation. Reduce alcohol, sugar, and coffee as these may increase episodes of anxiety and the associated symptoms.. 

Yes agreed that Most people struggle while balancing life demands with work commitments. Sometimes finding balance can seem close to impossible. The pressure of getting everything done can be overwhelming. And, if left unchecked, that stress can lead to other issues, including high blood pressure and depression.

The amount and quality of nutrients you take impacts the body’s neural circuits that control emotions and mood. 

Thus, the next time your stress levels start soaring high, fill your plate with the stress-busting foods mentioned above and find yourself at peace. And if still, you’re not sure of how to help your body get the right nutrients, you can always go for our NutriFit program.

Thank you for reading our Top seven superFood picks for Stress Relief and better  Brain health.

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