#HealthBytes: Five food items to help manage stress and depression
When you are depressed, you may want to run for your favorite cheese burgers or a bucketful of fried chicken, and perhaps a bowlful of ice-cream. These food items might help you relax for a while, but will ultimately ruin your physical and mental health. Know that only a healthy lifestyle and diet can help. Here are 5 food items to help manage stress/depression.
Research suggests that consuming chocolate can help keep levels of stress hormones (including cortisol) in check. Also, chocolate is a natural mood-booster that promotes positive thoughts. But, don't fall prey to sugar-loaded products being sold in supermarkets in the name of chocolates- choose good-quality dark chocolate (atleast 70% cocoa). Also, mind your portions, as too much of dark chocolate may bring unwanted calories.
A recent study found out that participants who drank tea de-stressed quicker and had lower levels of stress hormone, as compared to others. But, do stick to non-caffeinated, herbal tea options like chamomile, peppermint or ginger tea. They can help soothe the digestive tract, and have a calming effect on your body. And, you just got another reason to love your morning tea!
Stress depletes our body's Vitamin-B levels. And, snacking on nuts can help restore the same. Further, research suggests that the potassium in nuts lowers blood pressure, and reduces the strain that stress might put on our heart. Plus, nuts are easy-peasy to have- you can pick some on-the-go, and start munching right away. Don't forget to mind the numbers though, to avoid getting fat.
Milk has, since long, been preferred as a pre-bedtime remedy for treating insomnia and restlessness, thus bringing better quality sleep. That's because milk has plenty of antioxidants and is also rich in Vitamins-B2, B12, protein and calcium. Further, the protein lactium calms you down by lowering your blood pressure, while the potassium content of milk relieves muscle spasms that are triggered by stress.
Apart from the juicily delicious taste of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), they can also lower down your blood pressure and cortisol (stress hormone) levels. This happens because berries are rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanin, which are known to have amazingly positive effects on our body, including boosting of brain power. Additionally, the high Vitamin-C content of berries can significantly help lower stress levels.