Being under stress for a long period can surely take a toll on one's physical and mental health, which is why one needs to follow techniques to eliminate or combat stress. Though alternative healing therapies such as meditation, music therapy, massage therapy, and aromatherapy can prove beneficial, not many are aware that including certain food items in one's diet can provide the body with the ability to fight stress in a better way.
Foods that Relieve Stress
Research has revealed that certain foods act as stress relievers. Consumption of these foods helps in maintaining the chemical balance in the brain. It has been proven that intake of foods rich in vitamins, such as vitamin B-complex, vitamin C and vitamin E, can help in soothing the frayed nerves. Including the dietary sources of minerals such as zinc, potassium, iron, manganese, and selenium can also prove beneficial.
Foods Rich in Magnesium
Consumption of such foods help stimulate the production of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This helps in inducing relaxation and sleep. This inhibitory neurotransmitter also helps in tackling anxiety. Magnesium is also a muscle relaxant and beneficial for soothing nerves. Some of the foods that are rich in magnesium include spinach, broccoli, lettuce, skim yogurt, pumpkin, scallops, oysters, black beans, bananas, avocados, apricots, walnuts, and cashews.
Foods Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Foods rich in vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, and vitamin E can help in boosting one's immune system. Folic acid helps stabilize mood. Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted in response to stress. Eating vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C can help restore blood pressure and cortisol levels to normal after a crisis. So include oranges, grapes, kiwifruit, pineapple, mango, blueberries, avocado, and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, asparagus, green beans, etc., in your diet.
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research has revealed that these polyunsaturated fatty acids also help in tackling the problem of stress and anxiety. Since our body doesn't synthesize them on its own, one needs to consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish such as salmon, tuna, herring. Other sources include cod liver oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, dried butternut, chopped basil, and egg yolk. They will lower the risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Though following a healthy diet will surely help, you should also try other methods such as deep breathing, meditation, and other relaxation techniques to alleviate the symptoms of stress.