Eating to reduce stress

fresh-fruit-and-veg2On the 9th December, my latest book, Day of Mindfulness released in paperback on Amazon. It’s a short instructional guide (92 pages) laying out practical methods to bring our attention back to the present moment. The truth is, most of us love to mind-travel, which basically means we love to live in the regrets of the past and worry about the status of the future. It’s okay. We’re all guilty of it. The by-product of prolonged worry is stress and too much stress can lead to diseases such as hypertension, anxiety, even depression.

Thankfully, there are ways to lower the alert status of the mind, to bring it back to an unburdened state.

Everyone is aware of meditation and its benefits. We also know how deep breathing can alleviate tension, but did you know that a simple change in your diet can lead to a peaceful outlook? It’s true. There are certain foods that are known to eliminate stress.

Here’s a list of them along with their properties:

  • Pistachio Nuts – Helps to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Oatmeal – Increases the level of a calming hormone in the brain called serotonin.
  • Spinach – Rich in Vitamin C and magnesium. Magnesium can help ward off stress and boost energy.
  • Kiwi Fruit – Reduces stress hormones in the blood.
  • Sweet Potato – Helps to control blood sugar levels thereby reducing stress.
  • Turkey – High in an amino acid called L-tryptophan which is used to release the feel-good hormone, serotonin.
  • Walnuts – Helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Found in oily fish like salmon. Decreases anxiety.

As we all know, the reverse is also true. Sugary and high-carbohydrate meals can put us on an emotional roller-coaster leading to cravings and a bad mood.

So the next time you’re feeling down, check your diet. What kind of foods are you eating, clean foods that are raw (in their original states) or processed foods high in preservatives, sugar, carbohydrates and fat?

Day of Mindfulness is available in paperback and eBook.

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