Let it be finance, relationships or workload; we’re bound by stress triggering factors. It’s not only adults who go through it but every age group has their own share of stress.
What is stress? Stress is simply the brain’s response to demands. Please note, there’s not necessarily only bad stress or as called distress, there’s also a good type of stress called as ‘eustress’ which motivates us and helps us perform better and does not cause any harm to the body.
Talking about the ‘bad’ stress, do you think the stress only comes for that period of time and once it’s gone it’s over? Sadly, it’s not. Consistent stress leaves a great deal of burden on our health. It influences our health in surprising ways that most of us are not even aware of. Some of these are -
- Increases cortisol levels leading you into Diabetes
- Disturbs reproductive health
- Increases the risk of depression and other mental disorders
- Disrupts sleeping patterns
- Negative implications for heart health
But can we actually eliminate stress totally from our lives? Unfortunately, living in world full of competition, we can’t (unless one of us is planning on taking up the ascetic life). What we can do is handle it well and that’s what will make all the difference. To your surprise, there are multiple ways in which some foods can tame stress.
Nuts and seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients like magnesium. Magnesium has shown to reduce anxiety and irritability in individuals with low to moderate levels of the same. Nuts and seeds are rich in good fats, consuming these once or twice a day keeps you satiated and keeps you away from indulging in empty caloric foods.
Milk at bedtime
A glass of milk as your bedtime meal has been a traditional trend. It helps in stabilizing the mood and aids in a good sleep. Milk and milk products contain the amino acid –tryptophan which is a precursor to sleep inducing compounds- serotonin and melatonin.
Indulging in a piece or two of dark chocolate which contains >70% cocoa once a while can help reduce stress hormones like cortisol. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which reduces the stress induced free radicals.
Oatmeal or whole grains
Wholesome grains or oats are rich in fibre which does not let your blood sugar spike and keeps it stabilized. It offers an energy boost and triggers the release of the feel good chemical, serotonin.
Avocados are rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids and potassium. Omega 3 has shown to reduce anxiety, depression and aids in reducing stress. Guacamole made of half an avocado makes for a good high fat treat when craving for the same.