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A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Few stresses busting food is as follows:

Keywords: Stress, healthy diet

Introduction:

Stress is a common term used by people when they encounter a problem in their life. This problem could be anything from the work environment to the death of a family member. However, when you hear someone mention that they are ‘stressed out’, the likelihood is that this person does not know the full extent of what stress actually is. Stress, in biological terms, refers to the after effects of a person failing to respond properly to an event that has occurred in their life, whether physical or emotional. Imagine a person encountering a problem and bottling up these emotions inside without releasing them. This behavior brings stress upon the body and gets worse with time.

Symptoms of stress

You will know you are suffering from stress when you start to notice changes in your body. These changes/symptoms indicate that you are in the exhaustion stage of stress.

The following are some of the symptoms that you may encounter when you suffer from stress.

Muscle tension

Loss of focus/concentration

Headaches

Increased heart rate

Having a short temper

An edgy personality

Irritations (Rashes, Eczema, etc.)

Loss of appetite

If the stress is not treated, it is possible for further damage to be inflicted on the body, resulting in other worse consequences. Stress can also inflict long term illnesses to the body. Examples of these diseases include

 Diabetes

 Depression

 Mental health problems

 Heart/Cardiovascular problems

 Bowel/Digestive Problems

One of the main issues with stress is that it can cause unhealthy eating habits. This applies mainly to people who are always on the go and lead a busy lifestyle. People that fall into this category often endure large amounts of stress and have no time to fit balanced nutrition around their busy schedule. Additionally, stress makes the body crave foods that are high in fats and sugars. This flaw in eating, in time will inflict greater stress on the body, plus other problems that pose a threat to your physical and mental health.

Whole grains

Whole grains are the rich source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used as comfort food because it makes a chemical (serotonin) that comforts a person. Complex carbohydrates take a longer time to get digested and, therefore, keep a person calm for a longer period of time. Complex carbohydrates also stabilizing the blood sugar level.

saffron

saffron hails from the traditional medicine found in Persian cultures. It has served mankind for millennia as both a culinary herb and powerful medicine. Saffron is known for its vibrant color and flavor, and also for being the world’s most expensive spice. Saffron has been traditionally used as a calmative, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory. Studies in humans show there is a benefit to both anxiety and depression. This beautiful herb also imparts the gastrointestinal advantage of relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract to reduce spasms.

Probiotic

Probiotics may be defined as “a viable mono or mixed culture of bacteria which, when applied to animal or man, beneficially affects the host by improving the properties of the indigenous flora. There are numerous reasons for stress and its effect on the body is that it reduces the microflora in the gut and increases the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Probiotics exert their effect by inversely increasing the good bacteria, reducing the bad bacteria, improving barrier function, visceral senility, and gut motility. Probiotic bacteria have the potential to alter brain neurochemistry and treat anxiety and depression-related disorders.

A healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. Few stresses busting food is as follows:

 

Oranges

Oranges are a rich source of vitamin C stressed body are more prone to free radical formations. Vitamin C helps to keep free radicals in check and repairs the body. Drinking plenty of orange juice will help in the production of dopamine in the body and make the person feel relaxed.

Spinach

Spinach is considered to be a magic cocktail of all the greens. Being a rich source of magnesium (three cups of spinach supply about 40% of daily magnesium), it helps to lower stress level by keeping a person in a calm state and by preventing blood pressure from spiking.

Chocolate

Consuming dark chocolate reduces stress in two ways-its chemical impact and its emotional impact. Chocolate not only plays a role in fighting off free radicals, but it can affect both mind and mood. Chocolate’s serotonin elevating activity helps to modify mood in a positive way. Commonly known as comfort food, research has now promoted the status of chocolate as a psychoactive food.

Coffee

Epidemiological and experimental studies have shown positive effects of regular coffee-drinkers on various aspects of health, such as psychoactive responses (alertness, mood change, etc.).

Caffeine enhances alertness, facilitates thought formation and decreases fatigue. This alkaloid also improves mood, lifts the spirits and enhances both cardiovascular function and respiration. Taken by adults at a dose of 300 mg/day or less, caffeine is safe and beneficial for human health.

Blueberries

Blueberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C. These nutrients are said to be great stress busters. The antioxidants fight the free radicals which adversely affect the memory. Vitamin C along with antioxidants helps to combat stress hormone cortisol. It is also the fiber present in blueberries which help to relieve stress. Also, the high fiber content keeps sugar level low and, therefore, stress is relieved.

Broccoli

One of the good mood foods is broccoli which has stress-relieving vitamin B6. It also contains folic acid which is important in fighting depression.

Fish

Fish like Mackerel, Salmon, tuna sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids which boost the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter for good mood. It also has stress fighters like B6 and B12. These are important for the optimum functioning of the brain and enhance memory and mood.

Banana

Banana offers serious mood-lifting power, with a combination of Vitamins B6, A and C; fiber, tryptophan, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and protein. The combination of natural sugars and fibers creates long-lasting energy to help in the prevention of blood sugar imbalance. Carbohydrates aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, Vitamin B6 helps in conversion of tryptophan into mood-lifting serotonin and the potassium and iron work towards off fatigue by producing more energy. Iron in bananas exclusively is crucial to producing energy and fighting fatigue.

Walnuts

Walnuts have long been thought of as a ‘brain food’ because of their wrinkled, bi-lobed (brain-like) appearance. They are an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids and uridine. The combination of omega 3 fatty acids and uridine is thought to be a natural antidepressant. Higher blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids have been linked with better mood and lower rates of depression.

Eggs

A hard-boiled egg is easy to make and easy to transport like a snack food product. Full of high-quality protein and omega 3 fatty acids (from the hens eating omega 3 fatty acids rich diet), eggs are also an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a good source of vitamins B2, B5, and vitamin D. One boiled egg also contains more than 20 percent of the daily recommended amount of tryptophan hence considered a good stress-busting food.

Tea

Green tea contains L-theanine a protein which relaxes the brain, thereby reducing stress and anxiety with tranquilizing effects.

Flax seeds

Flaxseeds has a warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavor combined with an abundance of omega 3 fatty acids make it a good choice by vegetarians and good brain food. Flax seeds are the richest source of omega 3 fatty acids in the plant kingdom and are very promising functional food.

Reference
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15129302https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/A-Comparative-Study-on-Proximate-Composition-%2C-%2C-of-Amin-Thakur/ed403a0e8d62f141dedeaa5226fbe670ee64b9a9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4643654/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4375225/https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4997396/

Conclusion

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Stress is going to happen at some point in a person’s life and will most defiantly happen more than once. However, as unavoidable as stress can sometimes be, it is always a choice. One can either let the body suffer from the effects of stress, or we can choose to do something about it. Thus to keep the body and mind healthy, every individual should know the stress management and nutrition play a key role in stress management.