Stress Awareness: Top 5 Stress-Fighting Foods

8

Apr

2013

A change in your diet can help your body better respond to stress.

We all have experienced stress at least once in our life. Whether it is because you have a very demanding job or you have too many problems at home, our body reacts to these stressors, which then leads to stress.

For this, the nonprofit Health Resource Network (HRN) established the Stress Awareness Month in 1992 and it is celebrated every April in order to “increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic.” Although our response to conflicts, bad memories or anxiety is mainly physical and natural, there are some changes you can do in your lifestyle to fight back stress. One of them is consuming food that improves your mood:

Blueberries

This fruit is high in antioxidants, which counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol on your body and enhances cognition. Also, blueberries are rich in vitamin C, which combats stress.

Spinach

These leaves are rich in magnesium, which improves your body’s response to stress and it helps you keep in a calm state. You can eat it in salads, use it as a base for dips, or serve it with pasta.

Walnuts

They are a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid). This last component is what makes walnuts an excellent food choice to fight back stress, since this acid helps lower blood pressure. Pennsylvania State University conducted a study in 2010 and found out that people who included walnuts and walnut oil in their diet lowered both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress by two to three points compared to the people who didn’t eat walnuts.

Oatmeal

Having oatmeal for breakfast is more than a treat! It has been discovered that oatmeal increases the serotonin levels in your brain, which in turn makes you feel calmer and more centered. If you feel stressed, eat oatmeal three to four times a week.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is not only delicious but it is also a great treat that boosts your mood! According to the website WebMD, researchers found that “eating one 1.4 ounce dark chocolate candy bar each day for two weeks reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol as well as the “fight-or-flight” hormones known as catecholamines in high stressed people.” Cocoa has also been found to be rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been linked to a number of health benefits, such as improved insulin sensitivity, reduced blood pressure, and improved mood.

Add Comment