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Thursday, 1 November 2012

STRESS BUSTER -- FOOD FOR STRESS


What is Stress ?

We generally use the word "stress" when we feel that everything seems to have become too much - we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us.

Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you - without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses undermine both our mental and physical health they are bad. In this text we shall be focusing on stress that is bad for you.


When we are stressed the following happens:


Blood pressure rises

Breathing becomes more rapid

Digestive system slows down

Heart rate (pulse) rises

Immune system goes down

Muscles become tense

We do not sleep (heightened state of alertness).


Effect on your body

A tendency to sweat

Back pain

Chest pain

Childhood obesity - researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia published a report in Pediatrics in October 2012 explaining that a number of stressors from parents can increase the risk of obesity in their children.

Lead researcher, Elizabeth Prout-Parks, M.D., said "Stress in parents may be an important risk factor for child obesity and related behaviors. The severity and number of stressors are important."

Cramps or muscle spasms

Erectile dysfunction

Fainting spells

Headache

Heart disease

Hypertension (high blood pressure)


Effect on your thoughts and feelings

Anger

Anxiety

Burnout

Depression

Feeling of insecurity

Forgetfulness

Irritability

Problem concentrating

Restlessness....and it goes on and on...

FOOD THAT HELPS TO BEAT STRESS


Oranges

A German study in Psychopharmacology found that vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. Vitamin C is also well-known for boosting your immune system. 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can be particularly stress-reducing because they can satisfy the urge you get for carbohydrates and sweets when you are under a great deal of stress. They are packed full of beta-carotene and other vitamins, and the fiber helps your body to process the carbohydrates in a slow and steady manner. 

Dried Apricots

Apricots are rich in magnesium, which is a stress-buster and a natural muscle relaxant as well. 

Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts
Almonds are packed with B and E vitamins, which help boost your immune system, and walnuts and pistachios help lower blood pressure. 

Turkey

Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical. This is the reason why many people who eat turkey feel relaxed, or even tired, after eating it. L-Tryptophan has a documented calming effect. 

Spinach

A deficiency in magnesium can cause migraine headaches and a feeling of fatigue. One cup of spinach provides 40 percent of your daily needs for magnesium. 

Salmon

Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease. A study from Diabetes & Metabolism found that omega-3s keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking. 

Avocados

The monounsaturated fats and potassium in avocados help lower blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that one of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to consume enough potassium (avocados have more than bananas). 

Green Vegetables

Broccoli, kale, and other dark green vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins that help replenish our bodies in times of stress. 


01/11/2012  :  Inputs from Medical News Today and Marie Claire









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