’10 Foods that Fight Stress’

Daily stress can play havoc with your health. However, you can restore the equilibrium of both body and mind with our 10 top tips – put these superfoods on your plate and you’ll soon feel calm and collected once again … and it all starts with chocolate!

1. Dark Chocolate: Yes, good chocolate can be a really healthy treat, with research showing that it can reduce stress hormones, including cortisol. But it’s important to go for varieties that contain at least 70% cocoa; then you can have more than just a single bite, you can eat the whole bar!

2. Seeds: Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all great sources of magnesium, which has been shown to help alleviate depression, fatigue, and irritability.

3. Cashews: One ounce of cashews has 11% of the daily recommended amount of zinc, an indispensable mineral if you are looking to reduce anxiety.

4. Broccoli: This popular green vegetable is a powerhouse of folic acid, which has been proven to aid stress reduction.

5. Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids help brain cells to function collaboratively, thus helping you to deal with stress more effectively.

6. Green Tea: Linked to all kinds of positive health outcomes, green tea is packed with theanine, which increases the brain’s output of relaxation-inducing alpha waves and reduces the output of tension-making beta waves.

7. Blueberries: German researchers asked 120 people to give a speech and then do several hard maths problems. Those who had been given vitamin C, and blueberries are chock-a-block with this, had lower blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol after the stress-fest.

8. Asparagus: Stress and anxiety have been linked to low levels of folic acid, and one vegetable that boosts this mood-enhancing nutrient is asparagus.

9. Oatmeal: A complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have antioxidant properties, it also creates a calming feeling that helps conquer stress.

10. Spinach: Spinach is crammed with magnesium, which can help regulate cortisol levels. Not only that, but it is an excellent source of fibre and fibrous foods can diminish hunger, which itself can be a stressor.

As well as eating the right foods, it is important never to skip meals. Ensure that you eat on a regular basis, taking healthy snacks as required. Small, regular meals will help to sustain energy levels and mood, while decreasing fatigue and irritability.

  • By Bilal Al Halabi, Al Halabi Ref. & Kitchen Equipment www.al-halabi.com


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