In times of stress, the adrenal glands, where stress hormones are stored, are almost completely depleted of vitamin C, so anything that is high in vitamin C should be consumed in abundance. While spinach is high in vitamins C, A and K, and should be a big part of your diet anyway, shiitake mushrooms are particularly high in vitamin C as well. However, broccoli is even higher in vitamin C than oranges, and is also a potent antioxidant, and hence a great help in managing stress. Another powerful antioxidant is asparagus. Asparagus is also a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin, the deficiency of which is the most common cause of panic attacks. Celery, on the other hand, contains phthalides, which help relax artery muscles, allowing the vessels to dilate, thus reducing high blood pressure—a common symptom of too much stress. In addition to these vegetables, those that are high in fibre, such as cauliflower, help better digestion and hence a clearer system, which helps you feel less stressed.
Strawberries are rich in colour because of their phytonutrients, which are excellent antioxidants that can help control inflammation caused by stress. Another rich-coloured fruit, blueberries contain anthocyanins, which can play an instrumental role in preventing diseases that are caused by chronic stress. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in helping prevent stress, as mentioned above, so you should ensure regular consumption of citric fruits such as oranges. However, vitamin B can be just as important, as the lack of it can cause feelings of anxiety. Avocados are high in vitamin B and also have monounsaturated fat and potassium, which help lower blood pressure. Even dry fruits like almonds and walnuts are high in vitamin B. Walnuts, in fact, are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium as well, all of which support metabolism, and help in reducing stress and improving one’s mood. Coconut water is one of the healthiest thing you can put in your body. Its potassium, magnesium and other minerals can also greatly help reduce stress.
Fish and meat
Fish and meat, the best source of protein you can find, can help reduce stress a great deal. Tuna is rich in omega-3 fats, a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help control the general inflammation in various parts of your body during stressful times. Wild-caught salmon contains nutrients that can help keep your cognitive abilities sharp and your attitude positive. Beef is a great source of iron, B vitamins and zinc. Opt for sirloin or tenderloin cuts. Poultry is rich in tryptophan, which is essential for the making of serotonin.
- Tulsi tea can decrease stress hormones and corticosteroids
- Eggs’ nutrients help release endorphins, which can increase pleasure and even tolerance to pain
- Dark chocolate helps reduce levels of cortisol and catecholamines—hormones associated with stress and high anxiety
- Warm milk is relaxing, because of its high antioxidants and B vitamins, while its proteins have a calming effect by lowering blood pressure, and its potassium can help relieve muscle spasms triggered by feeling tense
- Whole-grain cereals in your carbs can make you feel happier, especially if you have a low-fat, high-carb diet
Written By : Ranvijaysinh Jhala