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sábado, 8 de julio de 2017

10 Relaxing Foods That Melt Stress Away


It is no secret that the foods we eat can dramatically affect the way we feel. Load up on refined sugars and you will see how the instant high that you get can turn to a depressing low in a matter of hours. This sugar roller coaster ride affects concentration and creates mood swings, wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels and hurts work performance and even relationships.
But you don’t have to stay at the losing end any more. Start eating smartly to relax, melt stress, reduce anxiety and gain that extra edge over your uninformed peers with this list of power foods today.

1. Go Nuts

  • Eat this: A deficiency in selenium has been linked to increased anxiety, depression and fatigue. Nuts, especially Brazil nuts, are high in this mineral. And you don’t need a whole lot of selenium; a handful of mixed nuts, or just two Brazil nuts, a day will be enough to keep you out of crankiness.
    Substitutes: Shitake mushrooms, tuna, cod, salmon also contain excellent amount of selenium, though not nearly half as much as nuts.

2. Eat like Popeye

  • Eat this: Magnesium helps to keep our nerves and muscles relaxed. We also depend on magnesium to prevent our nerves from becoming overexcited; a deficient of which can lead to muscle tension, cramps and fatigue. Spinach happens to be a magnesium powerhouse, and it is also a good source of vitamin A, C, iron and folate. Aim for one cup of fresh spinach or half a cup of cooked spinach a day. But go for the organic version as much as you can, because spinach is also one of the produce that is relatively high in pesticides.
    Substitutes: Other foods high in magnesium include halibut, pumpkin seeds and peppermint.

3. Heal with Herbs

  • Eat this: Basil is a good source of magnesium, which helps muscles and blood vessels to relax. It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful to those with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions. Enrich the taste of your food by adding a handful of basil leaves and you get a boost of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. To prevent the loss of its essence and flavor, add the herb only near the end of the cooking process.
    Substitutes: Lemon balm and chamomile are also popular herbs that can melt stress and reduce anxiety.

4. Give in to Your ‘Dark Side’

  • Eat this: Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which is used by the body to create serotonin, a neuro-chemical that relaxes the brain. Dark chocolate, aside from its heart-boosting antioxidants, is one food that is rich in tryptophan. When buying, choose one that is high in cocoa solid but low in sugar to get the maximum goodness without the sugar crash later.
    Substitutes: Tryptophan occurs naturally in nearly all foods that contain proteins, like almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, nuts, legumes and red meat.

5. Take Your Oats

  • Eat this: Complex carbohydrates enhance the absorption of tryptophan, which is in turn used to manufacture serotonin — nature’s Prozac. Oats fit the bill well as they contain high quality starches that won’t flood your blood with sugars and cause an insulin spike. They are also a good source of soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol in your blood. To get the soothing effect from oats, eat them together with some proteins such as nuts, seeds or dark chocolate.
    Substitutes: Brown rice, unrefined grains and legumes are also good sources of complex carbs you can choose from. But be sure to stay clear from moldy grains and legumes which contain some highly toxic, cancer-causing fungi.

6. Say Moo for Milkilicious

  • Eat this: Is it any surprise that milk has calming effects? Just recall those nights when Mum used to tuck you in with a glass of warm milk. Milk works because it contains the protein tryptophan, which is converted to serotonin. This neurotransmitter not only helps you to relax, but also makes you sleep more soundly. So if you are one of the lucky ones who are milk tolerant, drink up and take some stress off your system.
    Substitutes: If you are lactose-intolerant, there is always plant-based milk to fall back on, like soy and rice milk.

7. Relish the Taste of Ocean

  • Eat this: Shrimps may be small, but in terms of their nutritious value, they are anything but. These small ocean critters are excellent sources of tryptophan and selenium, which are essential for staying cool. They also contain good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and B12. If you are worried about their cholesterol content, studies suggest that the cholesterol in shrimps may actually be good for you.
    Substitutes: Close relative of shrimps, lobsters, as well as fish are viable options that will ensure variety in your meals.

8. Binge on Florets

  • Eat this: Low potassium levels can cause muscle tiredness, feelings of fatigue and make you irritable and anxious. But good thing we have broccoli which packs a generous dose of natural potassium in a nice bouquet of florets. Broccoli is also rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E that strengthen immune system. With A(H1N1) on the loose, it is wise to eat a few servings of broccoli each week.
    Substitutes: Alternative sources of potassium include avocado, banana, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, winter squash, eggplant and tomatoes.

9. Start the Day with T

  • Eat this: L-theanine is an amino acid mainly found in tea leaves and is found to reduce stress, promote relaxation and enhance mood by stimulating the production of alpha brain waves. Our usual awaken state is associated with beta brain waves, while the calmer and more relaxed state is alpha. Green tea is rich in L-theanine and a host of other compounds that make it sounds like the Superman of plant kingdom. It lowers risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, reduces blood pressure and prevents hypertension, and promotes weight loss, single-handedly. Wow.
    Substitutes: Black tea and oolong tea are sidekicks that pack quite a punch on their own. They also contain L-theanine and anti-oxidizing properties found in green tea.

10. Take Off with Kiwi

  • Eat this: Our brain needs adequate amount of vitamin C to convert tryptophan into serotonin. In fact, the brain has a special vitamin C “pump” that draws extra vitamin C out of the blood and concentrates it in the brain. Kiwi fruit is one vitamin C factory that will satisfy your recommended daily intake of vitamin C with just one fruit.
    Substitutes: If the sight of kiwifruit makes you shudder, there are plenty of other vitamin C-rich fruits you can choose from. Strawberries, papaya, orange, grapefruit and guava are just some of them.