Stress Management: How the Right Diet and Foods Can Help Reduce Stress? Reports show that Indians are more stressed than the rest of the world and having the right food habits will help them soothe their minds

By Chetan Kanani

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According to a study conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, stress levels in India seem to be higher in comparison to other emerging and developed countries. As per the survey, about 89per cent of the population in India is suffering from mental stress, which is significantly higher than a global average of 86per cent. Despite such a high average of stressed minds in the country, around 75per cent of these respondents does not feel comfortable seeking medical help. Work and finance are the two major attributes to such a situation.

Stress is a common phenomenon in the current era. It is an inseparable part of our lives. You may not be able to eliminate stress from your life completely, but you can definitely try to manage it. We strongly believe that a healthy diet can notably contribute to the reduction of stress. Foods can help tame stress in numerous ways. However, we tend to consider unhealthy food options as much more comforting than the healthy ones. When stressed, people often binge on desserts and sweet cravings. However, a healthy diet can help counter the impact of stress by shoring up the immune system and lowering blood pressure. For instance, a bowl of warm oatmeal boosts serotonin, a brain chemical that helps in calming the mind down.

Let us have a brief glance at health food options that aid in distressing or preventing stress altogether.

Binge on nuts

Stress can be caused due to a deficiency of Vitamin B and binging on nuts can help prevent that. Nuts are a great source of Vitamin B and offer a lot of nutrients. A couple of servings of potassium-packed pistachios a day can lower blood pressure and prevent heart diseases.

Tea

Tea is an integral part of any Indian household. The day begins with tea and sees the kettle boiling several times a day. Tea helps in calming frazzled nerves and relieves you from stress in a soothing manner. You can choose the flavour of the tea. Green and Black tea are considered to be much healthier than the milk one.

Green Veggies

Deficiency of magnesium can trigger headaches and fatigue which play a key role in creating stress. Spinach and other green leafy vegetables contain a lot of magnesium. Consumption of such vegetables helps in the prevention of stress building.

Peanut Butter

People often tend to indulge in sweet cravings like a jar of Nutella or a waffle dripping with chocolate. Although chocolate can be a great stress buster, it is important to ensure that you do not binge on the wrong chocolaty item. Instead of going for chocolate ice cream, we recommend chocolate flavoured peanut butter sandwich to satisfy that stressful mind. A jar of Peanut Butter is very rich in protein and offers a lot of nutrients that are healthy for anybody who may or may not is stressed. It is popular among all age groups across the world. With growing awareness about its benefits, Peanut Butter is slowly penetrating into the Indian households as well. It can be consumed with bread, fruits and more in the form of smoothies, salads, sandwiches, dips and more.

Seeds

Sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium. As mentioned before, magnesium significantly contributes to the prevention of stress. Consumption of these seeds helps in regulating your emotions and enhancing your well-being.

Avocados

This is one fruit that offers up to 20 benefits that help in fighting stress. It has essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin E, B and folate. It not only helps in reducing and controlling stress but also aids in managing hunger pangs. Consumption of half a fresh Avocado with lunch may satiate you if you are overweight.

Salmon Fish

Salmon fish is rich in omega 3s, especially DHA. This essentially helps in reducing stress. In our fast-paced lives, when stress is unavoidable, consumption of salmon fish twice a week can balance out the stress. In fact, Salmon is such a good source of Omega 3s, that you may not find the same amount of Omega 3s in other sources like walnuts, flax, soy, etc.

Chetan Kanani

Co-Founder, Alpino Health Foods

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