Relaxing Nutrition? There is Such a Thing
Feeling stressed out or tense? Efrat Segal, Dietitian at Strauss Dairies, gives tips to help you relax with a suitable diet for tense times and stressful situations.
We all know the phrase “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. But it is important to know that our diet also affects the mental state we are in. There are quite a few types of foods that help relieve mental stress, and you should know them.
Whole grains – Slowly-absorbed carbohydrates help release the chemicals Serotonin and Norepinephrine which improve your overall feeling and generate a sense of calm and tranquility that uplifts your mood. For example, you should increase the consumption of oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, spelled, pearl barley, rye and more. This type of carbohydrates should be preferred over simple carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed in the bloodstream and don’t contribute to these situations.
Vegetables and primarily leafy vegetables – Vegetables, and particularly their type of leaf, affect our blood pressure. Celery has compounds that reduce stress hormones which, in turn, cause the contraction of blood vessels. In addition, celery contains soothing nutrients, including niacin.
It is recommended to include avocado in your daily menu, as it contains many minerals that help cope with stress, and cabbage, which contains antioxidant vitamins and minerals that “fight” against the damage created by free radicals in our body. These vitamins and minerals are released in response to stress and uplift our mood. It is also advisable to consume broccoli, parsley, baby leaves and green peppers which are rich in antioxidants.
Almonds, nuts, seeds - It is recommended to eat plenty of almonds which are rich in magnesium (related to low levels of stress), nuts and sunflower seeds which are rich in zinc and potassium that contribute to uplifted mood.
Foods rich in vitamin C - Fresh citrus, baked potatoes, red peppers, kiwi, tomatoes, cabbage. These foods are rich in vitamin C that helps neutralize substances produced in a stressed body.
Garlic - Contains allicin, an antitoxin chemical that helps "fix" certain damage created in your body as a result of tension and may uplift your mood.
Tea - It is recommended to drink infusions of lemon balm, passionflower, chamomile and ginseng that ease mental stress and relax the body.
A glass of warm milk - a winning home remedy for having a good sleep! Milk (and other dairy products) contains an amino acid that generates the creation of sleep-inducing substances, and you should drink it before bed time. You can also have a glass of cold milk or hot chocolate. In normal times and particularly in stressful situations, it is recommended to have many small and frequent meals during the day, drink plenty of water, include relaxing and moderate physical activity such as yoga, swimming and walks, and even have a relaxing music in headphones that can accompany you during such activity.