Friday, February 26, 2010

Food and Health: Foods that Reduce Stress

Foods that Reduce Stress
       
     Stress, according to answers.com is defined as an organism's total response to environmental demands or pressure. In humans, it is primarily an external response that can be measured by changes in glandular secretions, skin reactions, and other physical functions. Well, there are many ways to relieve stress and food is one of them.

     In this very hot climate in the Philippines today, the heat can be stressful for some people. It is also the season for watermelons which help us cool off because of it's juicy, cool and crunchy pulp with lots of vitamin C. Hmmm, truly God is a genius; He created the times and the seasons for a purpose. Also the fruits. In addition, remember that our Moms used to give us milk before bed. It's so that we would sleep soundly because  milk also reduces stress. Well, here are some of the foods that reduce stress and why.
                                                                                                          All photos courtesy of Photobucket


Oranges - helps reduce stress by returning cortisol ( a stress 
   hormone) and blood pressure to normal levels after a 
  stressful situation. Other fruits are blueberries, 
  strawberries, cantaloupe.

Avocado - contains potassium that reduces high blood
     pressure

Unrefined good carbohydrates such as brown rice, oat 
     meal, whole wheat bread - contain plenty of B
     vitamins and also supply serotonin, a calming brain
     chemical.

Raw vegetables like carrots- munching is the mechanical
    way to relieve stress, aside from their other health
    benefits which could also relieve stress. 

Pistachios and almonds - contain Vitamin E that boost
     the immune system. Almonds contain B vitamins 
     and pistachios contain substance that lowers blood
     pressure. Walnuts are also good.

Fatty Fish - Salmon and tuna keep cortisol and adrenaline
   in check. Their omega-3 fatty acids can prevent  
   surges in stress hormones and protect against heart 
  disease.


Black Tea - lowers levels of cortisol.

Warm Milk - Low-fat or skim milk at bedtime contain calcium which reduces muscle spasm 
     and soothe tension as well as anxiety and mood swings.

Plenty of Water -although not food, water is truly important for hydration and relaxation. 

      Aside from food, exercise produces endorphins which are chemicals that make us happy. So, it is again recommended that we do 30-minute aerobic exercises 3 or 4 times a week to really reduce stress.  

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