There are many ways to combat stress, but one of the best ways is to consume stress-fighting foods. Most of us live in a hectic, crazy, busy world where stress is almost inevitable. While a little stress can be good for you, when you are constantly feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and anxious, it can cause huge damage to your health, your productivity, your mood, and even your relationships. Too much or prolonged stress can even lead to short-term and long-term physical problems, such as high blood pressure, impaired memory, osteoporosis, coronary heart disease and a weak immune system. Eating stress-fighting foods, exercising on a regular basis and practicing yoga can help you reduce your stress levels and improve your mood without any medications. Today we’re on a journey to discovering the best foods that can help us fight stress and live a more peaceful life.
1. Brown rice
Brown rice is an excellent source of B-vitamins, which are essential for the proper function of all tissues, cells, and organs. B-vitamins promote heart, immune, brain health as well as healthy mood. Eating brown rice can help you combat stress and prevent different types of mood disorders. If you often experience moodiness, try including brown rice into your healthy diet and enjoy a stress-free life.
Spinach is packed with Vitamins A, C and B-vitamins and is rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, which help decrease stress hormones in your body, stabilize your mood and make you feel better. One cup of spinach will be enough to help your body combat stress. You can use spinach in your salad, smoothie, omelet, and sandwiches.
Salmon is a super-nutritious food that can work miracles on your body. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids that increase happy brain chemicals such as serotonin and help regulate stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids help improve your brain function. Try eating 2 to 3 servings of salmon per week to reduce your stress levels. If you don’t like salmon, opt for another oily fish like sardines, tuna and mackerel.
4. Green tea
Green tea is loaded with potent antioxidants like polyphenols, catechins and flavonoids, and boasts numerous powerful health benefits. Drinking green tea has calming effect on your mind and body, thus helps reduce stress. Next time you feel overwhelmed and stressed out, take a short break and drink a cup of green tea. If you are not a green tea lover, you can opt for chamomile or mint tea. Although I like black tea, I can’t recommend you to drink it to reduce stress. If you want to reap all the health benefits of green tea, avoid smoking cigarette and drinking alcohol.
One of the best foods to eat to fight stress is avocado. Avocado is a great source of protein, essential minerals, vitamin E and vitamin C. It also contains potassium, fiber and healthy fat. Avocado helps keep the nerve cells and the brain cells healthy and help to reduce your stress levels. Moreover, avocado may help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce risk for heart disease. You can eat avocado fresh or add it to your salads and smoothies.
Antioxidant-rich food, blueberries, can also help you fight stress. Blueberries are rich in vitamin E and vitamin C, manganese and magnesium, which are helpful in lowering the stress levels. Eating blueberries regularly helps to fight insomnia, depression and other mood disorders. Due to rich fiber content and low calorie level, blueberries aid in weight loss. Add some blueberries to your oatmeal, Greek yogurt, fruit salad, or eat them with cottage cheese. If you don’t like blueberries, you can opt for cranberries instead.
Oranges are packed with vitamin C, vitamin A and B vitamins. They help fight the free radicals related to stress and heart disease. One of the best ways to enjoy the health benefits of oranges is to drink a glass of fresh orange juice each day. I also add oranges to my fruit salad, desserts and water. A few slices of orange or a glass of orange juice will help you fight stress in no time.
8. Dark chocolate
Consuming an ounce and a half of dark chocolate each day can lower the level of stress hormones in highly stressed people. The thing is, dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, an important mineral that helps combat fatigue, stress, irritability and even depression. While many people like dark chocolate, there are people, including me, who don’t like it. If you are one of them, opt for chocolate milk or dark chocolate desserts whenever you feel stressed out. It will reduce your stress levels and boost your mood.
Get some stress-relief eating almonds, which contain vitamins E, B2, zinc, magnesium and healthy oils. Moreover, almonds are an excellent source of fiber. When I have a hard, stressful day, I usually snack on raw almonds. It helps me cope with stress better and faster. I also add almonds to my desserts and baked goods. If you don’t feel like eating almonds, you can munch on pistachios and walnuts to boost your energy level and reduce your stress hormones.
It has been proven that people who drink milk on a regular basis feel less stressed. Milk is rich in calcium, vitamins A, D, protein and antioxidants, which help to combat the free radicals that get released when you feel stressed out. A glass of warm skim milk can help you calm down in no time. If you’re suffering from stress-related insomnia, try drinking a glass of warm milk before hitting the sack and you will have much better sleep. If you don’t drink milk, consider consuming yogurt or almond milk.
Stress affects all aspects of your life and it’s important to know ways to fight it. Improve your mood, boost your energy levels and reduce your stress levels with these healthy foods to eat to fight stress. Just don’t forget to exercise daily; running is a proven way to combat stress. Have you ever tried eating foods to fight stress? What’s your favorite food to eat to cope with stress better?