With the fast pace of your life, has stress grown to be an integral part? It slowly and subtly continues to cause damage to your body. It affects your thoughts, making you more anxious, and also leads to loss of sleep.
Stress increases the secretion of cortisol that elevates your blood pressure and, over time, it makes you prone to cardiac risks. Stress is also responsible for causing insomnia that causes the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Therefore, stress indirectly hinders weight management. However, you have to learn to manage stress, and here are some foods that can help you do so:
- Milk: We know milk is a calcium supplement, and we must include it in our diets to maintain and develop bones and teeth. Milk also has a high content of antioxidants and vitamin B12 that help alleviate stress. Moreover, milk contains the protein lactium that has a calming effect on you as it helps lower your blood pressure. Potassium present in milk helps maintain blood pH, and relieves muscle tension caused by stress.
- Dark Chocolate: Who is not tempted by the aroma of rich chocolate? Did you know, though, that dark chocolate could help relieve stress? Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins and lowers the secretion of cortisol. The endorphins induce a happy feeling along with calmness. Also, the antioxidants in cocoa influence your muscle walls to relax, improve blood circulation and, thereby, reduce high blood pressure. Remember, however, that chocolate packs in a lot of calories. So, go easy with this stress buster.
- Oranges: The humble orange is the champion of all breakfast fruits! Oranges contain a high concentration of vitamin C that boosts your immunity and wards off the flu virus. It also facilitates quicker burning of stored fats. Other surprising advantages of vitamin C are that it lowers cortisol secretion and contributes to lowering your blood pressure. To eliminate a vitamin C deficiency quickly, have a whole orange or the juice of one. Fruits like oranges are not only stress-busters; they also have enough dietary fiber that contributes to weight loss.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas stimulate the secretion of dopamine, the neurotransmitter in the brain that enables the feeling of happiness and helps you keep calm. They also contain manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium that protect you from cardiovascular risks. Magnesium present in chickpeas helps balance the pH level in your blood and, hence, regulates blood pressure levels. It, thus, contributes to reducing anxiety and stress. Chickpeas also contain adequate dietary fiber that keeps your gut healthy and contributes towards weight management.
- Spinach: Green leafy vegetables like spinach are great solutions to weight-related worries. They might not be the perfect idea of comfort food, but they are packed with wholesome nutrients. They contain magnesium that is required for the production of your genetic material. Magnesium also reduces the levels of cortisol and helps you de-stress. Spinach also contains copious amounts of folate that stimulates the production of dopamine, or the pleasure-inducing hormone. So, enjoy the crunch of spinach, and let it help you manage stress.
- Lean Meat: Have you noticed that you feel full after a Thanksgiving dinner? You also feel happy and sleepy after that sumptuous meal. You will be amazed to know that the feeling is induced due to the influence of an amino acid called tryptophan. This amino acid causes the secretion of serotonin that induces the feeling of happiness and well-being. It also causes you to feel calmer, and can help lower your stress levels.
Our diet impacts our well-being greatly. Thus, our food choices are of paramount importance. You should include a well-balanced diet that will supplement your nutritional requirements as well as keep your stress levels in control.
Written by Guest Author Vineetha Reddy
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