Busy schedules, work deadlines, and other environmental factors promote stress and reduce the natural defenses of the body. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to combat stress. Healthy eating has a positive effect in reducing stress in a natural and effective way. Here are top foods that combat stress:

 

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a proven stress buster. They are crammed with antioxidants that revives and rejuvenates the damaged cells in the body and relieves stress. They neutralize free radicals in the body and prevent cell damage. They boost the body's response for fighting stress and anxiety in turn improving immunity, which again, plays a vital role in reducing stress.

 

2. Dark Chocolate

Here's good news for chocolate lovers. Studies reveal that consumption of dark chocolate shows a reduction in cortisol- the stress hormone, thereby relieving stress. The cocoa has a high amount of antioxidant that lowers the blood pressure and relaxes the blood vessels. For a calming effect, go for chocolates that have over 70% cocoa, says experts.

 

3. Avocados

If you're not trying to lose weight, avocados may prove to be very helpful for combating stress. The creamy fruit contains glutathione that blocks the absorption of fats responsible for the oxidative damage. The fruit also makes you feel more satisfied. Keep in mind that avocados are high in fats, so consider limiting your intake by adding just half an avocado in your lunch.

 

4. Cashews

Nuts have always been a great snack, but cashews have an added advantage. The crunchy nut is packed with proteins and omega-3s that reduce cravings and make you feel full. They are rich in zinc that helps in preventing stress. Zinc deficiency is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety. So, replenishing your zinc stores may help in preventing stress altogether. Having a few every day may seem beneficial for anyone. Besides, they can also be a great snack for those trying to lose weight due to its high protein content.

 

5. Salmon

Salmon has many heath benefits, the major one being stress relief. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Studies show that it helps in reducing the stress hormone cortisol as well as adrenaline and induces a calming effect. People who consume salmon on a regular basis have shown a reduced level of stress as compared to those who do not. In addition to it, salmon is also a great food for your heart.

 

Eating healthy is only one step in keeping your stress levels in check. Including fresh air, time off to play, moderate exercise, and meditation will go a long way toward living a more stress-free and balanced life.

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