#HealthBytes: 5 healthy food items that reduce stress
When you're stressed out, you often want to rush for your favorite Mac N' Cheese, or a bucketful of fried chicken, or a bowl of vanilla ice cream. But those are just short-term escapes that'll eventually end up making you fat. For long-term relief from stress, a healthy lifestyle and diet can help. Here are 5 food items that will help you calm down.
A time-tested remedy for better sleep and calm mind
Milk has, since long, been preferred as a pre-bedtime remedy for treating insomnia and restlessness, thus helping you with quality sleep. That's because milk has plenty of antioxidants and it 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 triggered by stress.
Nuts, taken in controlled amount, can help reduce stress
Stress depletes our body's Vitamin-B value, 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- pick some on-the-go, and start munching right away. Don't forget to mind the numbers though, to avoid getting fat.
Know that balance is the key here!
Research indicates 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 sugary stuff that's 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.
Herbal tea brews can help you calm down
A University College London study found out that participants who drank tea de-stressed quicker and had lower levels of cortisol, as compared to others. But, do stick to non-caffeinated, herbal tea options like chamomile, peppermint or ginger tea. These can help soothe the digestive tract, and have a calming effect on your body. Anyway, mornings simply feel better with a cup of freshly-brewed tea.
Strawberries and blueberries, anyone?
Apart from the juicily delicious taste of berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), they've also been shown to lower 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 the brain power. Additionally, the high Vitamin-C content of berries can significantly lower stress levels.