A Complete Food Guide To Help You Cope With Stress
Comfort foods are not bad; in fact, the UCLA Centre For East-West Medicine highly recommends eating comfort foods to reduce stress. The key to achieve this is in eating the right types of food, so here are ten best foods to help you cope with stress.
Fibre-rich foods are helpful in the gut and play a role in lowering stress levels. A review published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience shows that diets rich in fibre may reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.
If this is your first time seeing the word, probiotics are good bacteria that improve digestion and nutrient absorption. Probiotics also boost your immune system and protect against harmful bacteria.
A recent clinical review shows that consuming probiotics increased the happiness levels in some people. Another study indicates a correlation between gut health and improved mood, depression, and anxiety.
Some Nigerian foods rich in probiotics include Ogi, yoghurt, Kunun Zaki, Burukutu, Lafun, Masa, Ugba, Palm wine, Nunu, Iru, and Garri.
Foods rich in Vitamin C boost immunity and reduce stress. Vitamin C lowers the blood pressure and cortisol (a stress hormone) during high-anxiety situations.
A study in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences shows that Vitamin C reduced stress levels in participants taking 500mg per day. It also pointed to possible anxiety prevention.
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Nigerian foods rich in Vitamin C include orange, lime, grapefruit, lemon, strawberries, spinach, guava, pawpaw, pineapple, bell peppers, and tomatoes.
Nuts are highly nutritious and contain Vitamin B along with other healthy fatty acids. Vitamin B is important to help you cope with stress. Some nuts like walnuts, pistachios, and almonds may also help to lower blood pressure levels.
Nuts are also high in magnesium, which has been linked to improved anxiety management. A journal Nutrients shows that magnesium may be beneficial to people with mild to moderate levels of anxiety.
Examples of Nigerian nuts include groundnut, walnut, kola nut, tiger nut, cashew nut, almond nut, jack fruit seed, and melon seeds.
Fish, especially seafood, is essential comfort food. It is highly nutritious and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Harvard Health Blog, they help reduce depression because they interact easily with the parts of the brain responsible for moods.
Asides fish, other food options to get your required dose of healthy fatty acids are chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, soy milk, and nut milk.
Examples of Nigerian fish rich in Omega-3 include salmon, mackerel, sardine, catfish, and shrimp.
Carbohydrates, according to research, can temporarily increase serotonin (a hormone that reduces stress and improves mood) levels in the body.
The most important thing is to ensure we are getting our carbs from whole, unrefined grains for better nutrition. Stay away from refined carbs like cake, white bread, white rice, and cookies as they are bad for your health.
Some examples of Nigerian whole grains include rye, barley, oats, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, and ofada rice.
Chocolate is such a delicious comfort food. The emotional impact of eating such a treat alone is enough to lower stress and boost your mood.
According to a study that followed participants who ate 1.5 oz of dark chocolate daily, dark chocolate contains antioxidants that lower the levels of stress hormones in the body.
Just be sure to eat your chocolates in moderation, about 1 oz (a quarter of a small bar of dark chocolate) daily should do.
Comfort foods help you cope with stress and improve your mood. You just have to ensure you are eating the right comfort foods. Throw out the ice cream tubs and sugar-laden junk in your fridge and stock up on these healthy comfort foods instead.
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