Did you know that stress is caused by a chemical reaction happening inside your body? I won’t go into the technical details as this isn’t a science lesson, but it’s all about specific hormones being released. When these hormones are released in large quantities, our brain tells our body to act stressed. So, we feel on edge, our heart rate increases, and we get tense.
Being stressed is bad for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s terrible for your health. Stressed people have high blood pressure, which can lead to many heart problems. Not only that, but you struggle to sleep, which can lead to even more health problems!
Clearly, you need to reduce stress as much as possible. Well, one solution is to look at your diet. The foods you eat – and the foods you don’t eat – can cause stress. So, here are a few foods you should add to your diet to feel more relaxed:
Drinking herbal tea a day can help you get rid of so much stress. It’s recommended you do this before bed as it helps you relax and get to sleep. Most herbs are beneficial, but here are two that deserve most of your attention. Both lavender and chamomile have been proven to help you relax. Lavender is particularly effective at bedtime as it helps induce a deeper and more relaxing sleep. So, a cup of this tea an hour before bed will help you reduce all the stress accumulated over the day.
Wholegrains are effective at reducing stress for two reasons. Firstly, it’s believed that most wholegrain foods help to produce serotonin. In short, this is the hormone associated with happiness and good moods. When your body produces lots of it, your stress fades away thanks to an increased mood. Alongside this, wholegrains are really high in fibre. Now, fibre can help anxiety and stress by aiding your digestive system. It’s long been considered that a healthy gut can help to reduce feelings of stress. So, by getting more fibre into your system, you can do just that. Wholegrains are the easiest and best of adding more fibre to your diet, plus they’re a healthy carbohydrate source – which is where you get the serotonin from.
When you were growing up, your parents may have told you that fish was brain food. It was always suggested that eating more fish made you clever. Mainly, this is because of the way fish interacts with our brain. Or, more specifically, the omega-3 fatty acids in fish. It’s believed in can help improve your focus and memory, as well as triggering lots of positive response towards stress. Some studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids can help lower feelings of depression and reduce stress. Therefore, it’s important to get as much of it in your diet as possible. This is best done by eating more fish! Fish also has lots of other nutritional benefits, so it’s the perfect food to have with your evening meals a few times per week.
Now, chocolate is an interesting food. It’s delicious but packed full of sugar. This makes us crave it, particularly when we’re feeling stressed. The problem with most chocolates is that we indulge too much, which gives us a momentary relief but then catapults us to feelings of more stress. Think about it, how many times have you eaten a whole bar of Dairy Milk and immediately felt bad after? It feels good at the time, but afterwards, you realise it was super greedy, and now you feel worse.
However, dark chocolate is different! It can actually help you get rid of stress and feel more relaxed. How is this possible? Well, it partly works in the same way that normal chocolate does. The fact this is seen as a treat helps you feel comfortable and at ease when you have some. The difference is that it’s not packed full of sugar and also has other things in it. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that help your body stay very healthy. These antioxidants work to reduce stress-releasing hormones in the body. They also fight diseases and boost your immune system, which is a great bonus. In short, dark chocolate is a fantastic treat to help you feel a bit less stressed every day – just be sure to enjoy in moderation.
Give your diet a slight tweak to ensure these things are a main part of it. From here, you should be able to naturally reduce feelings of stress.
This is a collaborative post