Feeling stress is normal, but being over-stressed has its complications. “Stress” happens when cortisol (the stress hormone) increases as we are faced with stressors, such as the multiple commitments in life. The results of it can be anxiety, poor sleep quality and – eventually – lead to low energy during the day.
Instead of choosing to live with these side effects that affect your daily performance, you can try to manage it simply in your food. Here are 8 foods you can take in your everyday meal that helps you to relax and gives an extra boost of energy!
Destress | Mood Enhancer
These foods are useful in reducing stress for a better night rest.
Chocolate is widely known to be effective in reducing perceived stress in females, and that’s one of the many reasons why ladies love chocolate!
You can choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa as it is lower in sugar and calories and helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. It also contains more cocoa solids which are rich in flavanol antioxidants that is beneficial in reducing oxidative stress (which happens due to overwhelming free radicals in our body).
Banana is high in potassium to replenish the loss of potassium caused by stress, helping you to soothe anxiety and improve mental clarity. It also contains tryptophan, a type of protein that supports the production of serotonin, the relax hormone.
Eat banana during the day when stress hormone is at its highest, but avoid eating it with dairy as potassium inhibits calcium absorption!
Yoghurt, cultured milk and other fermented food are rich in probiotics which help to alter mood enhancing hormones and reduce anxiety, depression as well as perceived stress. Remember to take low sugar yoghurt or cultured milk for a healthier choice (and improvement in bowel problems too)!
Green tea is rich in theanine which promotes relaxation, relieves stress and improves sleep. It is also found to improve cognitive functions and learning for better performance during the day!
While green tea bags are more readily available, loose tea leaves have a higher content of theanine and lower content of caffeine (you know how caffeine affects our sleep).
Energy Boost | Recovery Aid
These foods are rich in energy production nutrients to keep our brain and body functioning well throughout the day.
Nuts like almond and cashew are high in magnesium and fibre. Magnesium is important in converting food sugar to energy while fibre helps to control blood sugar level and cholesterol. Almond also has riboflavin (vitamin B2) which supports oxygen-based energy production, reducing fatigue and poor concentration. Take 28g of almonds (around 20-23 almonds) daily for your snack time and stay energised!
Similar to nuts, quinoa is a great source of magnesium, fibre and vitamin B2 for energy production. It is also high in iron, which supplies oxygen for muscle and brain functioning, and lysine, which is responsible for tissue growth and repair.
To reap the most benefits from this nutritious grain, soak the quinoa to degrade phytic acid, a substance in quinoa that prevents the minerals from being absorbed.
Lemon is a healthier choice to boost energy without consuming caffeine. Lemon contains negative-charged ions that enters the digestive tract for our bodies to gain energy. The scent of lemon is found to reduce stress and enhance mood as well. Simply add a slice of lemon into your daily drinking water to boost your energy level for the day!
Chia seeds have rich fibre content that slowly converts carbohydrates into sugar for a sustained energy level. It is also beneficial to joint mobility as it reduces inflammation around joints and aids in muscle repairs. Chia seed is also loaded with Omega-3 which is vital for proper brain and nerve function.