Foods That Help You Relax
Humans today are living stressful lives. The fast paced lives we lead leave us with little time to relax our drained out bodies and fatigued nerves. More often than not we are rushing against time, to keep appointments. The pressure of our busy lives begins to show on us. We become irritable and feel completely stressed out. How do you deal with this daily turmoil? Is there a simple way to totally overcome stress? The answer to this is – there is! Food can help in conquering high stress levels and make you relax.
It is a known fact that food satiates and nourishes the body; but that is not all that it does. Food has other qualities too. Certain foods can act as a balm that soothes harried nerves. These are not difficult to find exotic foods, rather everyday foods that are easily available in almost every kitchen and grocery store. Here is a list of some of the most common foods that relax the body and mind.
Most people like chocolate. The good news is that chocolate can help you soothe your stressed out nerves. Chocolate especially the dark variety is an excellent stress buster. It is rich in tryptophan, a compound with almost magical stress relieving properties. Tryptophan present in dark chocolate assists the body in producing serotonin. Serotonin is a natural compound that helps in calming stressed out nerves. Research indicates that chocolate elevates levels of certain amino acids in the brain that actually help in alleviating the mood. Eating a small piece of dark chocolate can lower levels of stress causing hormones immensely.
Chocolate in other forms can also do the trick. Though the high sugar levels can be a reason for concern if you are trying to watch your weight or suffer from diabetes. Reach out for a piece of chocolate the next time you feel physically and mentally exhausted.
Tea is touted as one of the best beverages since it is an excellent source of antioxidants. Herbal teas are now the fad; but tea has been around for hundreds of years and used as a relaxant in many parts of the world; particularly the Indian subcontinent and China. Black and green teas are most popular and good sources of flavonoid, a compound recognized for its relaxing properties. A cup of tea can instantly revive the most tired person.
Herbal teas are an infusion of specific herbs such as chamomile, basil, lemon balm etc. They are relaxing and soothing, and known for reducing anxiety. Herbal teas work the same way as normal tea and are an excellent drink for an instant mood pickup.
A piping hot bowl of freshly prepared chicken soup can fill you up with a feel good sensation. Adding vegetables such as bell peppers and garlic to the chicken stock further augments its calming ability. Insist on clear chicken soup, without any thickening agents if you want to soothe stressed out nerves in no time.
A hot cup of milk is every grandmother’s recipe for a good night’s sleep. Doctors too recommend milk to those having trouble sleeping. This is because milk relaxes the body as it contains tryptophan that produces serotonin in the body. Serotonin induces sleep and removes tension from fatigued muscles and lowers overall stress. Milk has an added advantage of being a good source of calcium, vitamin B2 and B12. It is also an antioxidant. Avoid the full cream variety if you have health and weight issues.
Most fruits are packed with essential nutrients that are good for your overall health. Oranges, kiwi, strawberries, guavas, bananas, grapefruit, berries, papaya and other fruits with high vitamin C content are amongst the most preferred fruits if you feel undue stress and exhaustion. Vitamin C is known to convert tryptophan available in the body into serotonin. Eating fruits with high vitamin C content augments serotonin levels in the body which in turn lowers levels of stress causing hormones naturally.
Milk Shakes, Smoothies and Ice creams
Smoothies, milk shakes and ice creams have a similar effect at lowering stress levels as milk, chocolate and fruits do. Some believe these foods work faster at controlling stress as they are a combination of foods known to relieve stress and relax the body and mind.
The body requires certain minerals and vitamins to produce the chemical serotonin which has a positive effect on people’s mood.Asparagus is rich in folic acid and vitamin B which necessary for producing serotonin. Asparagus can help in calming the mood because of the levels of vitamin B and folic acid it contains.
Red meat, particularly beef is a great mood lifter. Red meat contains mood stabilizing minerals and vitamins in high concentration. The high levels of B complex vitamins and iron and zinc in beef make it a food that can make you relax. Pick a lean cut, to ensure your meal remains healthy.
Cottage cheese is also listed among foods that can help you relax. The high calcium and protein content in cottage cheese makes it an ideal food for anyone looking to lower stress levels. Combine cottage cheese with fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C for an extra boost of energy and combating stress.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds make a healthy snack as they are packed with vital nutrients that the body requires. They are a rich source of minerals and vitamins that fight free radicals present in the body that are linked with stress. Nuts and seeds can be eaten anytime for an instant pep up.
A glass of your favorite red wine can also calm and soothe you almost instantly.
Stress will always be part of our lives. There is no way we can do away with it completely. However, the foods mentioned above are a simple way of fighting stress the natural way. Include these foods in your diet and you will observe a marked difference in how you feel. These are foods that relax you naturally.