Can You Use Food to Fight Stress?
The right dietary habits can do wonders to control the damaging effects of stress on your mind and body
Stress is a state of emotional or physical tension. It is a physiological experience everyone has felt in high-pressure events. Stress is also useful — it helps your body navigate potentially risky events and pushes you to perform better. However, it can become problematic if your body continues to stay in a stressed state.
Having high stress levels for sustained periods can exhaust your body. It can introduce many health complications like heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other issues that you should try to avoid. These conditions can leave a lasting impression on your body, and thus it is important to deal with stress as quickly as possible.
Working professionals tend to overwork themselves and disregard their bodily needs. This tends to push their bodies to the edge, and end up developing various health complications.
Your diet plays a large component in stress. There are many stress-relieving foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet to combat stress. According to this article, particularly the Mediterranean diet promotes overall health, including stress. The Mediterranean diet includes food items like fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. This type of food keeps inflammation to a minimum, therefore, controlling cortisol levels.
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Incorporating a healthy and balanced diet can help you avoid health problems. Let us talk about the specific food items that can help combat stress:
Foods rich in Vitamin B12
Whole grains and animal proteins tend to have larger quantities of vitamin B12, which encourages cortisol metabolism. Some of these foods are- nutritional yeast, chicken, organ meat, eggs, and fortified cereals.
Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You can get Omega-3 Fatty Acids from fatty fishes like tunas, salmon, and herring. For people looking for vegetarian alternatives, you can find Omega-3 Fatty Acids in avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, walnuts, anchovies, and more.
Magnesium can be found in many foods that can be eaten as snacks. Some of the foods are bananas, dark chocolate, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and spinach.
Protein-rich foods are an important component of a balanced diet. They assist the body to regulate certain health levels too. Some examples of these foods are almonds, chicken breast, lentils, lean beef, tuna, and quinoa.
Your gut is essential for digestion. Eating foods that promote the functioning of your gut enhances your chances to control your stress. Some of the foods are Greek yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and more.
Keep drinking large amounts of water as it is the most important fluid your body needs. Staying hydrated can not only keep stress levels to a minimum but can also help combat other health issues.
The above foods will help you keep stress levels to a minimum. If you need to destress as quickly as possible, it is best to go for magnesium-rich foods. Dark chocolate, made of at least 90% cacao, or pumpkin seeds will help you get the night-time sleep you require.
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In addition to following a good diet, being physically active can help reduce stress levels in your body. It allows your body to pump feel-good endorphins and other hormones that affect your stress levels. Similarly, a regular meditation practice can help. After meditating, many people feel a sense of calm and dissipation of stress. Getting a healthy amount of sleep every night also eases the body and brings stress levels down.