When we are busy and stressed we tend to make poor nutritional choices. We look for food that gives us instant gratification like sweets, alcohol, salty foods, etc. These foods can increase actually our stress levels and may cause other problems. Most of us do it due to a lack of knowledge so the next time you get hit by stress, and you crave something unhealthy, try these foods instead…
PAPAYA, STRAWBERRIES, ORANGES & KIWIFRUIT
These fruits are all great sources of vitamin C. This helps to reduce the excess cortisol in the system after a stressful situation or during prolonged period of stress. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is the water-soluble nutrient that is easily extracted from the body when not needed. It takes part in many of the processes in our body including protein metabolism and biosynthesis of collagen. Due to its antioxidant features it reduces the impact of free radicals and oxidative stress on us, as well as helping us to stay calm in stressful situations.
Nuts are great for stress reducing. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts are good stress-reducing treats when you just need to grab a handful of something. They contain both Vitamin B and E and are known to boost the immune system, reduce tension and lower blood pressure. Many nuts contain magnesium that controls our nervous system and serotonin that improves brain function. But be mindful though: some nuts like almond are high in fat.
DARK GREEN VEGETABLES
Spinach, kale and broccoli are high in potassium, which is especially useful for calming our nerves. You can use these vegetable as a part of a salad, or steam them to keep the nutrients locked in. They are packed with vitamins that keeps our body in peak condition and the high fibre content helps to control blood sugar and aid digestion.
If you crave something sweet or carbohydrates during times of stress, go and grab some sweet potatoes. Not only does it satisfy your desire for something sweet, but they are also full of beta-carotene, vitamins and fibre. These vegetables help your body to process carbohydrates and you’ll feel satisfied at the end of a meal.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon and tuna can help protect against heart disease and prevent surges in stress hormones. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin involved in the synthesis of the “happy” brain chemical serotonin and it can be found in most types of fish. So go ahead, make yourself a tuna sandwich – but go with natural sauces instead of mayo.
You probably know the benefit of green tea. Now try some black tea instead! The benefits of black tea were made clear by one study that was based on the comparison results of practical experiment, 4 people drank 4 cups of tea a day over a six week period and their results were compared with 4 people who drank a tea-like placebo. The real tea drinkers reported feeling calmer and had lower levels of cortisol after stressful situations. If that’s not a good reason to put the kettle on, I don’t know what is!One of the easiest ways to make healthy food choices is to have them readily available. So make it a habit – the next time you have an urge to snack, make sure that that unhealthy food is out of sight and reach for something fresh instead.
About the Author: Carol James is a writer and senior editor at writing service EssayLab. She has MA degree in social sciences and she writes articles and reviews on a wide range of subjects. If you have any questions regarding this article please feel free to ask her!
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