We are certainly living in uncertain times and struggling with a global pandemic. Being in quarantine is taking a toll on our health and routine for sure, added to it is the increased level of stress and anxiety which inversely affects our immunity, sleep, and overall productivity.
The struggles of being in quarantine due to the global pandemic are taking a toll on our mental health. Increased level of stress and anxiety is putting our immunity, sleep cycle, and overall productivity in jeopardy. Apart from meditation and other self-control measures, certain foods are scientifically known to reduce stress levels in the body. So, instead of reaching out to junk and unhealthy beverages, include these stress-busting foods that play a role in reducing stress hormones.
1. Whole Grains
Many carbohydrate-rich foods elevate serotonin “feel-good hormone” levels in the body, however, the right source of such carbohydrate is essential. Whole grains increase serotonin levels which regulate mood, sleep, and appetite along with memory and learning. They also maintain gut health by increasing fiber. Consuming whole grains like Oats, Buckwheat, Rye, Brown rice, etc. helps in keeping stress at bay.
2. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas like chamomile tea, lavender tea, rose tea, mint tea, hibiscus tea are known for soothing nerves, alleviating cortisol levels, and inducing calmness. Instead of indulging in unhealthy drinks during stress like alcohol or caffeinated beverages, try consuming herbal teas.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants known to uplift mood and induces a sense of happiness. Controlled consumption of dark chocolate with more cocoa and less content of sugar and fat can help to bring down your stress level.
Yogurt contains good bacteria which is essential in maintaining gut health. The bacteria in the gut greatly affects our psychological health and moods. Having probiotics like yogurt every day in the diet helps in relieving stress as they boost serotonin and GABA production in the intestine.
Coconut in any form is good for our mental health. Tender coconut is loaded with antioxidants and electrolytes, serving as a refreshing natural drink. Coconuts contain MCTs (Medium-Chain-Triglycerides) to maintain our gut health. Coconut milk, virgin coconut oil with its anxiolytic property are also known to soothe our minds.
6. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts like pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and seeds like pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax seeds are known to be rich in magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. They are responsible for bringing down blood pressure and maintaining brain health.
7. Fatty Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids present in fatty fish primarily in salmon, mackerel, and fish liver oil help in the proper functioning of the nervous system. By taking care of the cell-wall permeability, omega-3 fatty acids influence moods, behavior, and stress.
8. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C content primarily in citrus fruits like oranges, lime, lemons, grapefruits, is known to reduce stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, and have a therapeutic role in preventing stress and anxiety.
Eggs are a rich source of protein, zinc, calcium, and vitamin B12, together which helps in beating stress. Have it boiled, poached, scrambled, omelet, or in other forms like custards to uplift your mood!
Whether you are a student, an adult, a workaholic, or an elderly- stress affects us all. How we manage stress is all that makes a difference. So, next time you feel your stress levels are soaring high, instead of grabbing a pack of chips or caffeinated beverages, try having these proven healthy options.