Fruits That Relieve Stress

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Fruits That Relieve Stress is the most convenient and effective way to reduce stress. You don’t even have to uproot from your favorite chair, just reach for the bananas, mangos, aple, orange. Managing the stress of everyday life requires balance and a healthy mind. While some stress is inevitable, being mindful of what you eat can have an impact on your overall health. Listed below are select fruits that are high in compounds that help to diminish anxiety, stay calm, and reduce stress.

The 10 Best Foods to Help Fight Stress

Next time your stress levels start soaring, fill your plate with these foods that are scientifically proven to help you feel less frazzled.

woman eating healthy when stressed

Certain foods contain nutrients that can help fend off stress.

There are many ways to manage and even reduce stress levels when you’re feeling tense. Food can be one of your biggest allies — or enemies. It can make your stress levels go down or up, so it’s critical to pay attention to what you’re eating when you’re feeling frazzled. Not to mention, just being stressed can increase your need for certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B, selenium, and magnesium, noted a review published in June 2016 in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences.

An article published in August 2015 in the journal Stress suggested that the amount and quality of nutrients you take in over time can impact the body’s neural circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. Other research, such as a study published in October 2017 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Behavioral Medicine, has pointed to gut microbiota — microorganisms in the intestine comprised of good and bad bacteria — as an essential link to the relationship between what you eat and drink, and how you feel.

“Microbiome health, or gut health, affects your mood, emotions, and psychological health,” says Alice Figueroa, RDN, MPH, a nutritionist in New York City and founder of Alice in Foodieland.

Fighting stress with food is a tactic available to everyone, Figueroa says. No expensive supplements or complex methodology is required.

Unhealthy eating patterns can send stress levels skyrocketing and potentially increase your risk of health problems in the future if you don’t address them. According to the June 2016 review in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, a well-balanced and nutritious diet was likely the single most important ingredient for good health. So the next time you’re under pressure, arm yourself with this delicious arsenal of 10 stress-busting pantry staples:

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Herbal Tea Helps Promote Feelings of Warmth and Calmness

Herbal Tea

Sometimes it’s the feeling that food or drinks induce, not their nutrients, that helps reduce stress. Drinking a warm cup of tea is one way to help make yourself feel calmer, says Sandra Meyerowitz, MPH, RD, an online nutrition coach and owner of Nutrition Works in Louisville, Kentucky.

Past research has suggested that holding and sipping a warm beverage increases feelings of interpersonal “warmth” and friendliness. There’s a soothing effect of sipping a warm drink, regardless of the flavor — but certain herbs, like lavender and chamomile, have been shown to have a relaxing effect on their own, Meyerowitz says.

Figueroa agrees herbal tea is great for winding down but says green tea is perfectly fine when you need a small jolt of caffeine because it’s full of flavonoids, which studies show support brain health. They can help protect neurons against injury induced by neurotoxins, suppress neuroinflammation, and promote memory, learning, and cognitive function, according to previous research.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a cup of brewed green tea contains between 25 and 29 milligrams (mg) of caffeine versus black brewed coffee’s 95 to 165 mg per cup. Therefore, green tea can also be a preferable choice compared with coffee if you’re looking to chill out.

Flavonoids are a class of good-for-you plants and fungi also found in dark chocolate, citrus fruits, and wine. Despite green tea’s green light, Figueroa says to cut the caffeine in the afternoon to increase your chances of a good night’s rest.

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Dark Chocolate Offers an Antioxidant-Rich Indulgence

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate in the diet can reduce stress in two ways — via its chemical impact and its emotional impact. Chocolate feels like such an indulgence that it can be a real treat to simply savor a piece of it, and that feeling alone can help to reduce stress, says Meyerowitz.

Dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, may also help reduce stress by lowering levels of stress hormones in the body, according to a study that followed participants who ate about 1.5 ounces (oz) per day for two weeks. But be sure to enjoy dark chocolate in moderation, advises Meyerowitz. That means you should aim to eat only one-fourth of a small dark chocolate bar (about 1 oz). Also, make sure the bar doesn’t contain an unnecessary surplus of added sugar, says Figueroa.

It’s also important to choose high-quality dark chocolate, she says. You may have heard about the “bean-to-bar” movement, which focuses on high-quality ingredients and in-house responsibility for every aspect of the chocolate making process. This “farm-to-table” approach ensures the bar is packed with pure components and no hidden additives or chemicals. Look on the label for two or three ingredients only, such as cacao beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter.

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Whole Grains Provide a Mood-Boosting Way to Carbo-Load

Whole Grains

According to prior research, carbohydrates can temporarily increase levels of serotonin, a hormone that boosts mood and reduces stress. Once serotonin levels are increased, people under stress have better concentration and focus. Just make sure to choose healthy, unrefined carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes and whole grains, for better nutrition, and limit simple carbs, such as cookies, cake, and “white” foods, including white pasta and white bread. Unrefined carbs cause a quick spike and crash of blood sugar, while complex carbs contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, and so take longer to digest and have less of an immediate impact on blood sugar, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

Because fiber can also support a healthy gut microbiome, reach for high-fiber foods, including whole rye, buckwheat, and brown rice, says Figueroa.

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Avocados Offer Stress-Busting Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Avocados

Avocados are not only delicious mashed into guacamole or sliced and added to a salad — they also offer omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy essential acids are known to reduce stress and anxiety, boost concentration, and improve mood, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Meyerowitz emphasizes the importance of getting the right amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet for overall health — in addition to the benefit of helping reduce stress — which the federal government’s dietary guidelines define as 1.6 g of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fats) for adult men and 1.1 g of ALA for adult women.

The possible superpower of avocados goes beyond their omega-3 fatty acids. They also consist of phytochemicals, fiber, and essential nutrients, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey, which was published in January 2013 in the Nutrition Journal, suggested that avocados have been linked to better diet quality and nutrient intake as well as a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, which is a group of conditions that include high blood pressure and obesity. It’s important to note, however, that the survey only suggested an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, between eating avocados and these improved health markers.

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Fish Can Boost Your Heart Health While Fending Off Stress

Fish

Fight stress and help prevent heart disease by adding seafood to your plate. Fatty fish in particular are a great option because they’re heart-healthy, and their omega-3s may help ease depression because the nutrients easily interact with mood-related brain molecules, according to the Harvard Health Blog. Fatty fish include tuna, halibut, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and lake trout, according to the American Heart Association.

Not a fish fan? There are other whole-food options, like seaweed, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and fortified food, such as certain brands of eggs, milk, soy milk, and nut milk. You can also try omega-3 supplements in the form of fish oil, which can be found at your local drugstore or grocery store. The Harvard Health Blog noted they’re tied to a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

Figueroa says fish oil is fine if you’re not eating a balanced diet that is rich in omega-3s and includes eating fish at least twice a week. But she cautions that it’s important to check with your doctor or registered dietitian before beginning a supplement routine, so you can figure out the best brand and dosage for your health goals.

8 Terrific Foods to Help Relieve Stress

If you’re feeling stressed, it’s only natural to seek relief.

While occasional bouts of stress are difficult to avoid, chronic stress can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health. In fact, it may increase your risk of conditions like heart disease and depression

Interestingly, certain foods and beverages may have stress-relieving qualities.

Here are 18 stress-relieving foods and beverages to add to your diet.

several mugs of matcha tea

1. Matcha powder

This vibrant green tea powder is popular among health enthusiasts because it’s rich in L-theanine, a non-protein amino acid with powerful stress-relieving properties.

Matcha is a better source of this amino acid than other types of green tea, as it’s made from green tea leaves grown in shade. This process increases its content of certain compounds, including L-theanine

Both human and animal studies show that matcha may reduce stress if its L-theanine content is high enough and its caffeine is low

For example, in a 15-day study, 36 people ate cookies containing 4.5 grams of matcha powder each day. They experienced significantly reduced activity of the stress marker salivary alpha-amylase, compared with a placebo group

2. Swiss chard 

Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that’s packed with stress-fighting nutrients.

Just 1 cup (175 grams) of cooked Swiss chard contains 36% of the recommended intake for magnesium, which plays an important role in your body’s stress response

Low levels of this mineral are associated with conditions like anxiety and panic attacks. Plus, chronic stress may deplete your body’s magnesium stores, making this mineral especially important when you’re stressed

3. Sweet potatoes

Eating whole, nutrient-rich carb sources like sweet potatoes may help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol 

Although cortisol levels are tightly regulated, chronic stress can lead to cortisol dysfunction, which may cause inflammation, pain, and other adverse effects

An 8-week study in women with excess weight or obesity found that those who ate a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense carbs had significantly lower levels of salivary cortisol than those who followed a standard American diet high in refined carbs

Sweet potatoes are a whole food that makes an excellent carb choice. They’re packed with nutrients that are important for stress response, such as vitamin C and potassium

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4. Kimchi 

kimchi in a glass jar

Kimchi is a fermented vegetable dish that’s typically made with napa cabbage and daikon, a type of radish. Fermented foods like kimchi are packed with beneficial bacteria called probiotics and high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

Research reveals that fermented foods may help reduce stress and anxiety. For example, in a study in 710 young adults, those who ate fermented foods more frequently experienced fewer symptoms of social anxiety

Many other studies show that probiotic supplements and probiotic-rich foods like kimchi have beneficial effects on mental health. This is likely due to their interactions with your gut bacteria, which directly affect your mood

5. Artichokes

Artichokes are an incredibly concentrated source of fiber and especially rich in prebiotics, a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut

Animal studies indicate that prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides (FOSs), which are concentrated in artichokes, may help reduce stress levels

Plus, one review demonstrated that people who ate 5 or more grams of prebiotics per day experienced improved anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as that high quality, prebiotic-rich diets may reduce your risk of stress

Artichokes are also high in potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K, all of which are essential for a healthy stress response

6. Organ meats

Organ meats, which include the heart, liver, and kidneys of animals like cows and chickens, are an excellent source of B vitamins, especially B12, B6, riboflavin, and folate, which are essential for stress control.

For example, B vitamins are necessary for the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which help regulate mood

Supplementing with B vitamins or eating foods like organ meats may help reduce stress. A review of 18 studies in adults found that B vitamin supplements lowered stress levels and significantly benefited mood

Just 1 slice (85 grams) of beef liver delivers over 50% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B6 and folate, over 200% of the DV for riboflavin, and over 2,000% of the DV for vitamin B12

7. Eggs 

Eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin because of their impressive nutrient profile. Whole eggs are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants needed for a healthy stress response.

Whole eggs are particularly rich in choline, a nutrient found in large amounts in only a few foods. Choline has been shown to play an important role in brain health and may protect against stress

Animal studies note that choline supplements may aid stress response and boost mood

8. Shellfish

oysters on the half shell

Shellfish, which include mussels, clams, and oysters, are high in amino acids like taurine, which has been studied for its potential mood-boosting properties

Taurine and other amino acids are needed to produce neurotransmitters like dopamine, which are essential for regulating stress response. In fact, studies indicate that taurine may have antidepressant effects

Shellfish are also loaded with vitamin B12, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium, all of which may help boost mood. A study in 2,089 Japanese adults associated low intakes of zinc, copper, and manganese with depression and anxiety symptoms

7 Habits That Build Resiliency


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Tenacity is essential when running a company. Your commitment to work is as important as your responsibilities at home and developing work-life balance can leave you feeling overwhelmed and depleted. Yet you must carry on.

Challenging situations are opportunities for growth and improvement. You learn a lot about yourself when the going gets tough and these situations are lessons that help you succeed in business and life. What you build along the way is resiliency, an important character trait for your success.

Resilience is defined as the ability to adapt to and overcome stressful situations. By that definition, an entrepreneur’s life is an exercise in resiliency. Every day there are challenges that must be faced and overcome. But how you approach your life and build resiliency can make the difference between it feeling manageable or chaotic. The tips below will help you conduct your day with greater equanimity while helping you build your perseverance.

1. Eat a sound diet: Studies repeatedly show that highly nutritious diets maximize energy, stamina, improve brain cognition, help mitigate the effects of stress and prevent disease. Evaluate your diet, making sure you’re leaning heavily on plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, fruit and nuts for their optimal nutrition and antioxidant benefits. Include lean protein for enhanced muscle tone and healthy brain function, particularly wild Alaskan salmon and eggs. The Omega-3 essential fats in salmon have been shown to be particularly good for brain health and egg yolks contain lecithin, which has been shown to enhance acetylcholine production, a neurotransmitter that allows for greater focus and concentration.

2. Eliminate junk food: If your go-to snacks are cookies, candy, chips or soda it may signal out of control stress levels. It is well documented that a diet high in processed, refined and sugary foods makes you prone to depression and anxiety, neither of which will help you rebound in tough situations. Once you start down the path of junk food for a fleeting boost in energy levels, you are eroding your resiliency, setting yourself up to be chronically overwhelmed. Make your office a junk-food-free zone and keep fruit, nuts, nut butters, sparkling water and green juice on hand instead.

3. Exercise: It’s clearly established that exercise is better for managing mood disorders than anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications. There is no greater neutralizer than a good sweat at the gym. Make exercise a non-negotiable part of your life and schedule it at least three times a week. For a greater bump in resiliency, make time for the gym on particularly busy days. This builds enormous mental strength and tenacity because you are essentially pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, letting yourself know that even with a demanding day, you are committed to your well-being.

4. Plan ahead: In addition to meetings and work load, plan your workouts and what you will eat every day. Taking a few minutes to plan your flow, will go a long way towards helping you stay on track, both in the office and at home. This small habit can make you as much as 90% more successful at hitting your mark. Think about it, if you’ve had a bad day and only quasi-committed to going to the gym, do you think you’ll make it there? Writing it down will help you follow through, building resiliency.

5. Manage stress: Stress is unavoidable, part and parcel of being human. But for an entrepreneur who is trying to build a business while managing a personal life, stress can feel out of control. This can lead to anxiety which in turn can lead to depression or other mood disorders, none of which are helpful. Eating well and regular exercise are enormously beneficial for stress management, so putting those two practices in place are priority number one. But if your stress level is out of control and the gym is just not cutting it, consider options like Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation or even just a 20 minute walk in nature if it’s available to you. While you may think that stress is a fuel that drives you, it is actually fanning the flames of burnout.

6. Cultivate gratitude: When success is at hand, it is tempting to keep shooting higher, setting your sites on ever greater goals. While I completely encourage you to keep setting the bar higher, it is also important to stop and smell the roses sometimes and be grateful for all that you have achieved thus far.

Gratitude can fuel even greater success. When you are thankful for your life as it is, everything beyond that is gravy, helping to cultivate a sense of contentment. This, in turn can help alleviate stress. Not only that, studies show that those who spend a little time in gratitude every day tend to be happier, sleep better and manage challenging times better. So give thanks for all you have and are right now… It might just lead to even greater success!

7. See challenges as opportunities: In his book, Business Brilliance by Lewis Schiff, (a must-read for entrepreneurs), he writes how extremely successful entrepreneurs possess a strong conviction that allows them to see every set back as an opportunity to learn something that they simply would not have learned any other way.

Most super successful people have suffered some sort of major setback in their career. Rather than give up, they learned from it, went back to the drawing board and tried again, using their newfound understanding to make them even more successful. When you come up against adversity, take a minute to evaluate the situation, learn what you did wrong so you can make better decisions next time, and create a new plan to help you achieve your intended goal. There is no better way to build resiliency.

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