6 Stress-Fighting Superfoods
Did you know that ignoring signs of stress is a more dangerous risk factor for cancer and heart disease than either cigarette smoking or eating high-cholesterol foods? There are numerous steps you can take to reduce stress, including daily exercise and relaxation techniques. But the simplest way may actually be by eating! To combat stress, add these healthful foods to your diet. Packed with essential vitamins and nutrients (including stressfighters), these delicious bites will fill you up without excess calories and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENTS Vitamins E and B
HEALTH BENEFITS Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and fights cellular damage from free radicals linked to chronic stress. B vitamins stabilize mood by stimulating production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that sends calming signals to the brain and fights anxiety. They also build up protective fat around brain cells, which gets depleted under stress.
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENT Vitamin C
HEALTH BENEFITS Vitamin C helps stabilize blood sugar, fi ght free radicals associated with stress and lower stress hormone levels.
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENTS B Vitamins and L-Tryptophan
HEALTH BENEFITS With the help of B vitamins, L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid, converts to serotonin, which improves mood and mental health, and melatonin, which aids in sleep.
4 Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Lake Trout, Sardines and Albacore Tuna
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENTS Omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins
HEALTH BENEFITS Omega-3 fatty acids prevent increases in stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and help produce serotonin. (There’s also evidence that they may reduce depression.)
5 Skim Milk
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENT Calcium
HEALTH BENEFITS Calcium alleviates tension and decreases muscle spasms. It may also lessen symptoms of PMS, including anxiety, mood swings and irritability.
STRESS-FIGHTING NUTRIENT Magnesium
HEALTH BENEFITS Magnesium stops blood pressure from rising and works to relax tense muscles.
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