There are various ways in which foods can help you bust stress and help you cope with hectic situations! Comfort foods, like a bowl of warm delicious oatmeal, can actually boost your levels of serotonin, a calming brain chemical. Other foods can reduce levels of cortisol and adrenaline which are stress hormones peaking during pressure times. Finally, a nutritious diet can counteract the impact of stress, by helping your immune system work at its best as well as by lowering stress-induced high blood pressure. Now, what are these helpful foods exactly?
Complex Carbohydrates – All carbohydrates speed up the brain’s production of serotonin. For a steady supply of this feel-good chemical, it’s best to eat complex carbs, which are digested more slowly. Good choices include whole-grain breakfast cereals, breads, rice and pastas. They can also help you feel balanced stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Simple Carbohydrates – Steering away from unhealthy refined carbs such as sweets, chocolate, desserts and fuzzy soda drinks are definitely advised. Even though they sure spike your blood glucose and increase your serotonin, unfortunately this just a short term relief of stress induced irritability leading to a very sharp decrease in serotonin and thus making you feel more fatigue and energy depleted!
Vegetables – Vegetables are pretty helpful to manage stress because of their antioxidants, fibers and mineral content. Crunchy raw vegetables can fight the effects of stress in a purely mechanical way. Munching celery, cucumbers, cabbage, bell pepper or raw carrot sticks help release a clenched jaw which can ward off tension headaches! Moreover, veggies mineral content such as magnesium can help regulate cortisol levels and tends to get depleted when we’re under pressure. Too little magnesium may trigger headaches and fatigue and spasm your muscles, doubling the effects of stress.
Nuts – To start with, nuts are rich in plant based omega 3 and thus can assist fish omega 3 in fighting stress hormones peaks and inflammation. Pistachios, walnuts and almonds for example can soften the impact stress hormones have on the body. Adrenaline raises blood pressure and gets your heart racing when you’re under stress. Moreover, nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals. For one, they are rich with magnesium that decrease muscle tension you may experience during stressful periods. They are also rich in vitamin E and a range of B vitamins, which make the immune system boost!
So to make the best out of nuts, have a handful of nuts, or equivalent to a quarter of a cup of raw, unsalted nuts every day!
Bedtime Snack – A smart way to go around bedtime snacks is to stick to a light meal rather than large greasy or sugary ones! When in time of stress, most of us tend to increase our cravings to fatty or sugary meals that can comfort us! Well, on the contraire, it’s about time you know that such meals push you to become more fatigue, energy depleted and deprives you from sleeping right. Therefore, light meals that can increase your serotonin levels and help you relax, soothe your tension and reduce your muscle spasms are the right choice for you. Go for a mini- salad with a whole grain cheese sandwich for example or a glass of low fat milk rich in calcium and high fiber cereals.
Don't forget to stay hydrated: drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day will help you get rid of toxins as well as replenish your energy! Just place a bottle of water next to you and sip on it regularly in case you tend to forget to drink when you're overwhelmed with work! Aaand best of luck studying!
Brought to you from WebMD