5 Foods That Relieve Stress
If someone were to device a ‘stress-o-meter’ and go out to measure the stress levels, we are quite sure, he will have to make a new device each time, because considering the stress levels in our life, the device will probably blow up. Studies show that the stress level in our lives has only increased over the years and this is in spite of the latest advancement in technology. Work-life balance seems to be a thing of the past and ‘weekends off’ is a word people yearn to hear. Between all the running we do for our work, families and ourselves – seldom do we stop and think about the lifestyle we are leading. Erratic sleeping schedule, untimely meals, binge eating, weekend parties and all other crazy stuff we do through the week leads to increased stress levels over a period of time.
If you can relate to all the above said things, then you will be surprised to know that help is only a kitchen away. There are food items that are aphrodisiacs, some that improve your skin and then there are also those that help you to soothe your nerves. The next time you think you are just going crazy, just whip up something with the following foods that relieve stress and relax.
There is nothing like chocolate that soothes your nerves. Just the thought of some warm chocolate, your favorite book and cosy corner is enough to lower your stress levels. Recent study shows that eating around 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate each day for two weeks lowers the stress hormones cortisol & catecholamines. Chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin, a natural antidepressant and endorphins which are also known as ‘feel good hormones’. Also the cocoa in chocolate is known to have flavanoids that have a lot of health benefits like reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. A cup of hot chocolate, a sumptuous chocolate cake, or a rich chocolate truffle should do the trick, best taken before bed time.
Cheese is one food item that can be combined with any dish to make it richer and of course, more flavorful. Although known to have a hit fat content, cheese is also a good stress buster. You can add little amounts of cheddar, gruyere or Swiss cheese to your pasta or try a cheese potato mash and if you are experimental, then even add some to your Mac and cheese. Eating a high carb meal 2 hours before bed time is known to increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Alternatively you can also try the healthier cottage cheese packed with vitamins B12 & B2 for some relief. A fondue is a great option to call some friends over and relax while digging into warm and cheesy food.
Don’t go by the look of it. Though small in size, blueberries are a perfect combination of vitamin C and antioxidants that aid in the balance of stress. Available throughout the year, the antioxidants in blueberries protect the cells against free radicals that lead to cancer and heart diseases. The versatile nature of blueberry makes is usable in any form – you can make a puree, compote, smoothie or use them fresh. They can also be used in cheesecakes, pies and muffins but are best eaten fresh and plain. You can add some blueberries to your morning cereal or to your yogurt for some zing. They also help in slowing down the aging process indirectly. Stress breaks down the body, aging it faster and blueberry helps fight this stress.