Nowadays, it seems like stress levels just keep rising every year. Whether it’s work, school, or house chores, we’re surrounded by many things that can trigger stress. We’re also busier than ever! Unfortunately, this keeps us away from eating healthy. Junk food becomes the popular option as it’s quick and convenient, without realizing its negative impact. Well, it’s time to bring back balance into our lives by consuming foods to help us combat stress. In this article, we recommend the 7 foods to keep your stress levels in check!
Why should you start eating healthy
Most people don’t realize that food plays a huge role in their hormone production. Eating crappy food will make you feel crappy too, and sometimes, miserable. People think that stress is only caused by external factors. In fact, internal factor like hormone is one of the main factors for stress. Your brain hormones dictate how you feel. And your mood depends on them.
Sugary or high-cholesterol food will contribute to hormonal imbalance in your body. Five hormones play a huge role in setting your mood. They are serotonin, dopamine, endorphin, oxytocin, and cortisol. All five have to be in balance to ensure a good mood. If one hormone drops or spikes significantly, it will trigger mood changes. And eating these foods helps bring balance back into your hormonal system.
1. Dark chocolate
You’ve probably heard that chocolate can boost your mood, haven’t you? Some believe that anyone who eats chocolate will always be in a good mood. Well, it’s not just a myth! A study found that eating dark chocolate every day can help reduce stress. The study was conducted on several test subjects. In the beginning, these subjects are in a state of highly stressed. By the end of the study, they had significantly lower stress levels after eating 40g of dark chocolate every day for two weeks.
Dark chocolate does help reduce catecholamine and cortisol, some of the “stress” hormones. Also, eating chocolate reduces adrenaline, which leads to feeling more relaxed. Not only having stress-reducing agents, but dark chocolate is also loaded with nutrients. It’s a huge source of antioxidants, magnesium, and iron. However, not all chocolate can do the job! Avoid chocolate products that are high in sugar. Always make sure to choose high-quality dark chocolate. A product that is pure with no hidden additives.
Yogurt is very popular because it contains good bacteria. People also love the sour and creamy taste that yogurt has. It promotes a healthy gut as it’s packed with probiotics. A healthy digestive system will influence your brain and increase energy levels. A faster metabolism is also one of the benefits. Making you more active and engaged!
Psychologists found that people who consume more probiotics are less stressed than those who didn’t. Not only that, but it can also decrease the level of anxiety. It might sound very unrelated and hard to comprehend. But a healthy gut is linked to a healthy mind. Bacteria and microorganisms can influence your mind.
Oysters are one of the superfoods. It’s rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats. Even better, it’s low in calories! Yes, the price of oysters can be a little bit high. But you can make it as a special treat a few times in a month.
The high amount of zinc and vitamin B12 in oysters can help combat stress. Zinc is a natural antidepressant and it will lower anxiety. While vitamin B12 will keep your blood cells healthy and reduce inflammation.
Granola bowl topped with fruits should be your go-to breakfast. It can fuel you up to tackle the day with full energy and a good mood. Whole grain is much better than flour products. It keeps your blood sugar level remain stable. A stable blood sugar level can regulate brain neurotransmitter, which helps in improving your mood.
Topped with fruits, you’ll reap double benefits. You can go with some berries for better taste. Berries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It can also be the natural source of sweetness so you don’t need to add more sugar.
5. Green veggies
There are tons of options to choose from. Broccoli and spinach are among the most popular choices. The chlorophyll is the key to the plant’s photosynthesis, which helps them stay alive. It can also help you live healthier and stress-free by making you feel more energized.
Green vegetables are packed with lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. You can never over-eat vegetables because they’re very low in calories. Not only reducing your stress levels by giving you more energy, but it also helps you control your weight. It reduces the risk of obesity, which is great to keep your ideal weight.
Nuts have the most important nutrients your body needs. You should be eating nuts daily. They’re rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It’s also a huge source of omega-3 fatty acids. You can choose any type of nut you like. Cashews, almonds, or peanuts are the easiest to find. Cashews are rich in zinc, just like oysters. This is great to help you fight anxiety. Nuts are very nutrient-dense. However, nuts are also quite high in calories. So make sure to keep track of your portion!
Pickles and other fermented food like kimchi are natural antioxidants. In fact, fermenting food can increase the nutritional value and antioxidant levels. Fermented food also contains natural sugar from the process. Helping you keep the blood sugar levels low. Besides, pickles are rich in vitamins and probiotics. A healthy gut will promote overall body health. Not only for your body, but it also improves the state of your mind.
Antioxidant works by preventing free-radicals to enter your body. It has protective and energy-boosting effects. If supported by external infusion such as aromatherapy, it will keep your mind and body on their prime level. Making you feel more energized and stress-free all day!
Healthy body, healthy mind
Having a healthy lifestyle is the gateway to a stress-free life. Many people still don’t realize that food plays a huge role in affecting their minds. They eat mindlessly and wonder why they feel low in energy and stressed all day. A healthy body is linked to a healthy mind. Keeping your body healthy and energized will keep you in a better mood. Try to incorporate these 7 foods into your diet to keep your stress levels in check. And boost them with regular exercise like yoga. Then, see how your days will slowly get better over time!