We all feel stressed from time to time – big decisions, deadlines, conflict, even having too much coffee can cause stress in the body.
When you’re experiencing more aches and pains, having trouble sleeping, are constantly feeling exhausted or dizzy, it could be a sign of too much stress.
What is stress?
A natural response to changes or challenges. Stress can be good to alert your body that adjustments need to be made to balance your physical and mental health. Our bodies are designed to equip us with quick-thinking reactions that protect us from any danger to our overall health.
Good stress and bad stress
What psychologists refer to as eustress, a type of positive stress, is essential to help us overcome challenges. Positive stress can be experienced when you’re on a roller-coaster ride, starting your first job or going on a date. The difference in how we experience stress is whether we perceive it as an opportunity or a threat. Research shows that perceived treats cause a greater stress response in the body and can be harmful. Overtime negative stress weakens the immune system.
Here are some foods to add to your meals when you’re feeling stressed.
Snack on blueberries
More than a sweet topping for breakfast bowls, blueberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help to reduce your body’s response to stress. Research also shows that eating 150g of blueberries per day can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
So, all of the indulging chocolate ads that come to mind now was not just marketing? A study on the effects of dark chocolate consumption found that participants who ate 42g of dark chocolate per day for two weeks, experienced lowered levels of stress hormones in the body, which is likely due to the antioxidants found in dark chocolate. The key is to consume it in moderation.
Dubbed one of the healthiest beverages on the planet, the inflammation-fighting polyphenols found in green tea not only help to lower stress levels but also protect the brain from ageing, reduce bad breath, enhance the fat burning process, and reduce the risk of cancer.
How much green tea should you be drinking for optimal benefits? Experts have differing opinions on how much to consume, but studies found that 3 to 5 cups per day is effective.
Here’s the perfect reason to keep snack packs in your car, at your work desk and in your gym bag. Nuts like cashews are high in magnesium, which helps to regulate the nervous system while pistachios are high in healthy fat and fibre to aid the body in stress management.
If you like a bit of spice in your life, turmeric is known for a range of health benefits, including the ability to boost serotonin and dopamine levels. It can also be used to reduce anxiety since it contains a bioactive compound called curcumin. Turmeric is best absorbed by the body when it’s heated so add it to warm dishes or enjoy it in a spicy latte.
Want to learn more about healthy eating and guilt-free cooking? Head to the nutrition portal on our website for recipes and easy tips.