- Mental Health
7 Foods That Will Help You Relax
If there is one thing that I have learned over years of struggling with stress and panic, it is that I really do not like medicine or drugs! Believe me, I have tried the anti-depressants and the nerve relaxers, sleeping pills, etc. I honestly can not remember one time when they ever helped me either. In fact, at one point while on anti-depressants, I woke up and literally did not know where I was, or who I was for that matter. As a mother, I simply can not allow stuff like that to happen. I need to be focused, awake and aware of everything around me. Let me tell you, that day was the last time I ever took an anti-depressant. After that point, I began searching for ways that I could control my stress naturally, without filling my body and mind full of drugs or man-made chemicals. Lucky for me, I was able to find an abundance of information about natural stress relievers, and guess what? I found them in food! Here is what I found.
If you are not big on eating whole fish, you can always try some salmon dip with ritz crackers. The fish taste is masked by the seasonings and crackers so you get a really yummy tasting snack that is also great for you!
Salmon have strong hearts
Do they? Well, I wouldn't know for sure, but what I do know is that they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids which helps to protect us against heart disease, giving us stronger hearts. The best part is that when you have Omega-3 in your system, it helps to keep your adrenaline and cortisol from rising. These are two very big culprits involved when it comes to stress and panic. So if you are looking to lower your stress-inducing agents, have some salmon.
An orange a day..
As you probably already know, oranges are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and helps to prepare your body for any type of stress you many encounter. A weak immune system has often been linked to depression and stress. When you are feeling ill or sick, your stress level rises and makes you feel that much worse. So keep your immune system strong by eating this fruit at least once a day.
Apricots are awesome
Dried apricots are rich in magnesium, which is a stress buster. They are also natural muscle relaxers, and these bad boys are rich in vitamin C too. You can find bags of dried apricots in your local grocery store, and they are portable so they can easily go with you wherever you go. The next time you feel a little tense or stressed, eat these little golden fruits for a quick boost.
Im Popeye the Sailor Man...and I eat spinach!
OK, so I am not Popeye, but I do love spinach! Like apricots, spinach is also high in magnesium. Actually, you can get 40 percent of your daily magnesium from just one cup of this yummy green stuff. Diets low in magnesium can cause you to have headaches, dizzyness and overall fatigue. Eating spinach gives you the best defense against these stress additives.
Im going nuts over nuts!
Nuts are great for stress. In particular, walnuts, almonds and pistachios are high in B and E vitamins, which boost your immune system. Pistachios and walnuts also help to lower your blood pressure. It's a win all the way around.
Avocados are all that!
Avocados in your guacamole, on your torta, in your salad or soup, no matter how you enjoy this fruit, you are going to benefit from its blood pressure lowering benefits. Avacados are rich in potassium, more so than banannas, which helps to regulate blood pressure. You lose potassium when you sweat, have runny stools or get dehydrated. Eating an avocado a day helps to replenish a dwindling supply of potassium, which you may not even be aware is low until you feel your heart flutter or have a full blown panic attack because you just feel yucky.
Turkey, turkey, terrific turkey
Yes! We all know that we get sleepy on Thanksgiving after eating a fat turkey. That's because turkey has amino acids in it. Namely, L trypotophan. Amino acids trigger your body to release seratonin, the groovy brain chemical that makes us feel good. This leads to a calming, sleepy effect. When eating turkey in combination with carbohydrates, this effect is even more profound. Try eating a turkey sandwich the next time you feel stressed out. You will be amazed!
No matter how you go at it, stress is a pain to deal with. Unfortunately, it will always be there. Keeping your mind and immune system strong will help you to fight off this ugly beast- and give you the best chance of winning back your mind and body.
My final thoughts
I live by these foods because I choose to live drug and chemical free, but I still need a way to help reduce my stress. There are many other foods out there that will accomplish the same thing too. They say that you are what you eat, and in this case it is so true. You could be a walking ball of tension, or a light fluffy cloud. The foods that you eat will play a huge role in determining this.
Want to read more about reducing stress? Check out these great reads..
- Here is my fail safe secret on how to reduce stress.
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- A Commonsense Approach to Stress Free Living
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