It’s not new for most adults with a busy schedule to feel stressed in different situations. Stress is our body’s hormonal response to situations where we are either helpless or emotionally challenged. But do you know that this hormonal response affects mental as well as physical health? In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, 77 percent of people with stress experience physical health issues, whereas 73 percent of people experience mental health problems. Not only that, Global Organization for Stress reported that 80% of people experience stress at work, and it is also the number one health issue among high school students.
While you may not have any control over the physical or mental effects of stress, one thing that you can always control in any health condition is your diet choices. The ongoing global pandemic has sickened and killed millions while leaving several others with sudden & inconvenient lifestyle changes & a lot of stress.
We are here with 6 foods that can meet most of your nutritional needs while also preventing the secretion of stress hormones in stressful situations.
We know that conquering stress and having dessert are two different things but do you know that an increase in feel-good hormones is a great way to lower your stress levels. Moreover, dark chocolate also has a chemical impact on stress hormones. While the feeling of a dark chocolate piece in your mouth is enough to reduce stress, it is also rich in antioxidants that have a soothing effect on stress. A study published in a Swiss newspaper, the Journal of Proteome Research, reported that dark chocolate effectively reduces stress hormones in our bodies.
Let’s skip Starbucks for today and replace it with a banana. Potassium-rich bananas boost your mood through a chemical called dopamine and magnesium when you are stressed. They are also rich in Vitamin B6, responsible for decreasing fatigue and stress levels in our body. As far as nourishment is concerned, bananas are present in every health-centric diet.
Are you on a low-carb keto diet? Maybe you need some amount of carbs to increase mood-boosting and stress-relieving chemical in your body— serotonin. The chemical helps make you more productive during the day and keeps you mentally stable. However, picking the right amount of carbs is the key, or it may strain your health. Avoid refined carbs such as cookies, chips, and crackers since they can add to stress and depression while affecting your heart health. Consume rich sources of complex carbs such as whole grains (bread, brown rice, quinoa, old-fashioned oats, etc.), sweet potatoes, etc.
Being stressed is not good for your heart, and omega-3 fatty acids are known to keep your heart healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in several fishes, including, but not limited to, halibut, salmon, sardines, and tuna. Studies suggest that these acids ease depression and lower overall stress.
What’s the simplest way to ease stress? Just get a glass of water in stressful times and hydrate your mind. It will not destroy your stressors but drinking enough water keeps cortisol levels low, helping your body handle stress better when it occurs. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an average man needs 3.7 liters of water a day, whereas a woman needs 2.7 liters. You should also hydrate your body with 20% food sources and 80% beverages as per nutritional experts.
Warm, Soothing Foods
Almost everyone has experienced the soothing effect of having warm tea, coffee, or soup. Nutrition experts suggest that stress can be conquered through warm, soothing foods. Regardless of the flavor, warm food requires our body’s stress response and generates more feel-good hormones, including dopamine and serotonin.