Stressful events don’t always have to be serious catastrophic happenings; stress can arise from day to day events such as work pressure, approaching deadlines, minor arguments or traffic jams.
As a response to stress, hormone cortisol is released from the adrenal cortex that promotes food cravings, specially carbs and sweet foods.
At this point, eating the right foods that reduce stress and relieve anxiety and depression can help a lot in lifting the mood naturally.
Stress is a normal physical response that cannot be avoided but chronic stress for a prolonged time can have serious negative effects on health.
There are instances that excessive stress can lead to heart diseases, weight gain, sleep disorders, digestive disorders, memory impairment, etc.
Symptoms of Excessive Stress
There are a wide range of emotional, physical and behavioral warning signs of stress overload that one should watch out for:
- Increased Heartbeat
- Diarrhea or Constipation
- Eating Disorders
- Sleeping Disorders
- Overdependence on Alcohol, Cigarettes
Effective Foods that Help in Relieving Stress and Anxiety
There are foods that can fight against anxiety and stress which provides relief and can pacify feelings of anxiety and depression, but also help in lifting the mood instantly.
But it is important to choose the right foods that have inherent calming properties rather than munching on unhealthy sweet treats and junk foods that do more harm than good in the long run.
The benefits of avocado for health are numerous. This creamy fruit is loaded with nutrients such as lutein, beta-carotene, folate, vitamin E and B vitamins.
It is also a rich source of glutathione that helps in reducing the absorption of certain fats by the intestine that lead to oxidative damage.
B vitamins are also effective agents for fighting anxiety and stress. Being a rich source of monounsaturated fat and potassium, it also helps in lowering blood pressure.
Add a few slices of avocados to your salad or sandwich and enjoy its amazing benefits.
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are a rich source of antioxidants that helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall health.
The antioxidant anthocyanin present in berries boosts up brain functions while vitamin C helps in fighting stress by lowering blood pressure and control the level of cortisol.
Enjoy a handful of berries as a delicious snack whenever you crave for sweet treats.
The health benefits of dark chocolate need no new emphasis. It is a rich source of heart-healthy antioxidants that is also an effective food for managing stress and anxiety.
Dark chocolate lower levels of cortisol and epinephrine release while cocoa present in chocolate increases nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, thus helping to stay relaxed and calm in stressful situations.
In addition, it also contains polyphenols and flavonols – two powerful antioxidants.
The health benefits of garlic are numerous. It has been extensively used in ayurvedic medicine for treating various diseases and health conditions.
Garlic is loaded with powerful antioxidants that help in protecting the body against the harmful effects of stress, anxiety and depression.
The antioxidants fight free radical damage and oxidative stress and protect against cancer, heart diseases and other chronic diseases.
Allicin present in garlic helps in maintaining healthy functions of the immune system which is often affected by chronic stress.
The refreshing citrus smell of an orange is enough to lift the mood instantly and relieve stress and anxiety.
Vitamin C present in oranges brings down the blood pressure to a normal level and controls the release of cortisol that helps in combating stressful situations in an effective manner.
So, eat a whole orange or enjoy a glass of freshly prepared orange juice the next time you feel low and depressed.
Green tea is a rich source of antioxidants and is the most effective natural stress relief remedy that helps in relaxing and rejuvenating the mind and the body.
The amino acid L-theanine present in green tea has a soothing and calming effect that helps in relaxing the brain and alters the levels of serotonin and dopamine that affect moods.
Therefore, load up on cancer-fighting antioxidants and boost your mood instantly with two cups of green tea on a daily basis.
Oats are the ultimate power food that is not only effective for weight loss, but also helps to relieve stress and anxiety.
Being a complex carbohydrate, it promotes the production of the feel-good chemical serotonin that functions as a neurotransmitter and prevents depression, anxiety, panic and mood swings.
So, begin your day with a bowl of steaming oats to stay fuller for longer and lift up your mood.
Nuts such as walnuts and almonds have amazing benefits for health. Being a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids – alpha-linolenic acid and other polyphenols, these can be the perfect foods that can fight against anxiety and stress.
Nuts and seeds are loaded with nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc that neutralized the damage caused by stress-related free radicals and helps in lowering blood pressure, thus helping is staying calm and relaxed.
We hardly know that a glass of warm milk is an amazing food to fight anxiety and excessive stress.
Being a rich source of antioxidants such as vitamins B2 and B12 along with calcium, protein and protein lactium, consumption of milk helps in bringing down blood pressure to the normal level and potassium present in milk helps in relaxing the tense muscles and relieving muscle spasms.
So, enjoy a glass of warm milk the next time you feel restless or overwhelmed by negative emotions.
Fishes such as salmon and tuna are a rich source of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids -omega-3 fatty acids that also help in keeping cortisol and adrenaline levels under control in stressful situations.
Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish oil are also effective in preventing neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and bipolar disorder.
Include these foods in your daily diet and say goodbye to stress, depression and anxiety in a healthy and all-natural way.