The general good feeling is heavily influenced by our stress levels. It is already well-known that mental pressure is not only a danger to your good disposition, but also leads to sickness. People that are constantly dealing with stressful situations are more vulnerable to many diseases, from simple colds to hypertension and cardiovascular ones. There are many ways to handle stress and one of them is adapting your diet in order to help your body “fight” the effects of stress.
Talking about food
Food can fight against stress in different ways. For example, a warm bowl of oatmeal stimulates the production of serotonin, a substance also known as “the happiness hormone”. Other foods can reduce the level of cortisol and adrenaline – the stress hormones, that can severely damage the body’s balance. A right diet can counter the impact stress has on your health, fortifying the immune system and reducing the blood pressure.
All carbohydrates stimulate the production of serotonin. In order for the level of serotonin produced by the body to have a constant level, it is advised to consume carbohydrates that are digested slower. Complex carbohydrates also help in balancing the sugar level in the blood.
These types of carbohydrates are:
Simple carbohydrates (sugars)
Dietitians usually recommend avoiding simple carbohydrates that include juice and sugar. Still, these products can temporarily improve the state of irritability triggered by stress. Why? Because sugars are easily digested, thus stimulating the production of serotonin.
Basically has the same effect as raw vegetables, still talking about fighting migraines in a purely mechanical way. You could try the jerky from GoChomps.com, as it uses ingredients needed to fight stress.
Oranges are found in this list due to the high level of vitamin C they contain. A series of studies have shown that this vitamin reduces the level of stress hormones, fortifying at the same time, the immune system. If you know you’re about to have a busy, stressful day, try to eat oranges in the morning. The level of cortisol and blood pressure adjusts more easily and goes back to normal if you take 3.000 miligrams of vitamin C before a stressful activity.
With its high intake of magnesium, spinach helps regulate the level of cortisol, which has the tendency to drop under mental pressure. The loss of magnesium leads to migraines, fatigue, as effects of stress. Thus, a portion of spinach is always welcome, no matter the situation. If spinach is not your favorite, try soy or salmon, as both have a high level of magnesium.
In order to maintain the level of cortisol and adrenaline under control, try eating fatty fish. The fat Omega 3 acids, found in salmon and tuna can prevent the excessive production of these stress hormones and offer protection against cardiovascular affections. Specialists recommend the intake of at least 90 grams of fatty fish at least twice a week.
Research suggests that black tea helps recuperate better after a series of stressful events. A study has compared people that drank four cups of tea daily for six weeks with those who drank a placebo similar to black tea. The ones who drank the real tea said they felt calmer and their level of cortisol dropped after stressful situations. On the other hand, coffee can raise the level of cortisol, so be mindful of that!
Pistachios can ameliorate the impact the stress hormones have on the body. Adrenaline raises the blood pressure and makes the heart beat faster when you’re stressed. It’s enough to eat a handful of pistachios a day for the level of blood pressure to drop and remain under control when adrenaline makes itself known.
One of the best methods to reduce blood pressure is to maintain an adequate level of potassium in the body. Half an avocado contains more potassium than a banana, so look up recipes that include avocado and make yourself a daily snack!
Almonds contain vitamin E that sustains the immune system, plus a series of vitamins from the B complex that strengthens the body’s resistance to stress. A quarter of cup of almonds daily is enough to enjoy all its benefits!
They fight against the effects of stress in a purely mechanical way. Crunch a carrot or a piece of celery and you’ll feel how your jaw muscles relax, thus releasing tension and reducing the intensity of migraines.
The snack before going to bed
Carbohydrates consumed before going to bed help release serotonin and can thus make your sleep easier. However, rich meals before going sleeping are not recommended as they can cause stomach burns.
Warm milk before bed is quite on the list! Researchers have found that calcium intake reduces muscular spasms, calms and reduces the anxiety level. Usually, dietitians recommend drinking skimmed milk.
Besides this list of foods that can help reduce your body’s level of stress, daily physical exercises are strongly recommended.