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No More Stress!

Por Ana C. López, Nutrition Counselor, MyDiet™ Team -
No More Stress!

It’s true:  we are what we eat.   There’s a strong link between what we eat and our physical and emotional health. If you’re constantly under stress, you should learn to recognize the foods that can help you relax and energize your body, as well as which ones may actually worsen your performance. 

Among the foods that can help you relieve stress and improve your performance are: 

Food

Anti-Stress Properties

Fish, chicken, or legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) combined with cereals (rice, pasta, potatoes)

These foods are sources of protein and stimulate the production of a substance called dopaminein the body. In times of stress, the body converts dopamine into adrenaline,which helps us stay awake and alert.

Potatoes, grains, whole wheat cereals, bread, and pasta

They're high in complex carbohydrates,which are absorbed more slowly than simple carbohydrates (sugar, honey, sweets) into the bloodstream. This helps the brain get glucose in a more steady and sustained way, while sugars make blood glucose levels raise quickly and drop down in a short time.

Low-fat dairy products, leafy greens, whole grains

They contain B-complex vitamins,which are important for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Bananas

Bananas are a good source of tryptophan,an amino acid that can help reduce anxiety and depression, and therefore improves the quality of sleep.

Avocados, oranges

They contain bromine,which acts as a natural relaxer.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea has properties that enhance sleep quality. A smart choice before going to bed!

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Vitamins and antioxidants are essential to keep our body functioning in optimal condition and to overcome stress.

Water

If you don’t drink enough fluids throughout the day, dehydration can make you feel tired or get a headache. Keep your water bottle handy!

On the other hand, some foods and beverages may worsen the symptoms of stress and decrease your performance. Be careful with these foods, especially when you’re having a hard time dealing with stress: 

  • Processed foodscontaining monosodium glutamate(MSG), an additive that can cause headaches or allergies.
  • Foods or beverages high in sugar,such as regular sodas, cakes, sweets, and biscuits.
  • Coffee, tea,and other caffeine-containingbeverages, which may cause insomnia, irritability, and anxiety, as well as headaches and heartburn in susceptible individuals.
  • Chocolate,since it combines sugar and caffeine.
  • Alcoholic beverages.  Although you might first feel relaxed, later you may experience agitation, insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, and lack of concentration. 

Source:

  1. MacEoin, Beth. “The Total De-Stress Plan.” Carlton Books Limited. London, 2002.

 

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