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Feeling Worked Up? Consume These!

Besides exercising, meditating and shopping, we can deal with our stressful lives by consuming the right kinds of food. However, most people find comfort in turning to food such as ice cream, alcohol, nasi lemak, potato chips or soft drinks. These may make you feel good after consuming them but the guilt that comes after may bring on additional emotional stress. Instead of indulging in unhealthy food, there are plenty of healthy options that you can try.

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are well known for increasing immunity and preventing cancer.  They are high in folic acids which play an important role in lowering stress and preventing crankiness. Multiple studies have shown that the lack of folic acid in the body can potentially lead to mental conditions such as depression.  Additionally, the high content of vitamin replenishes our body in times of stress. If you do not like broccoli, you can also get the stress-busting benefits of folic acid from asparagus or even orange juice.

2. Oily Fish

Most people are probably aware that oily fish such as sardines, salmon and cod are famous for their high content of Omega-3 fatty acid. These prevent heart-related diseases and optimize brain functionality. In 2011, a study from Ohio State showed that medical students who took Omega-3 supplements showed a 20% reduction in anxiety levels. The DHA from Omega 3 boosts serotonin levels in the body which is very important for obtaining a good night’s sleep.  Oily fish is also a very good source of vitamins and minerals such as zinc, magnesium and vitamin B that help reduce the damaging effects of stress on the body.

3. Nuts 

Nuts such as cashew, walnut and almond extremely healthy for various reasons.  Not only does it boost our immune system, it also lowers the stress level of our body. The magnesium in nuts keeps cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) levels low. According to Anna Magee and nutritional therapist Charlotte Watts, authors of the book The De-Stress Diet, nuts are crammed with vitamin Bs, zinc, magnesium, and omega oils – nutrients that are depleted when anxiety is high.  It is always a good idea to have some nuts as a snack if you are hungry before dinner.

4. Chamomile Tea

Among the different types of tea, chamomile tea is popular for its soothing effect on the body, mind and soul.  A cup of chamomile tea about half an hour before you go to bed will calm your mind and improve sleep quality.  It is widely used in clinical settings for treating anxiety and insomnia. Best served with honey and lemon!

5. Chocolate

Good news to all chocolate lovers!  Consuming chocolate may actually be good for the body.   However, make sure you are taking the right kind of chocolate. Dark chocolate is healthy and contains more than 70% of cocoa. It is healthier and different from regular milk chocolate which is sweeter and more commonly preferred.  Research shows that taking 40g of dark chocolate per day can help us cope with stress because chocolate actually stimulates the production of endorphins (the ‘feel good hormones’) and the release of serotonin (a natural anti-depressant).













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