The word “stress” has received more prominence than wellness because most of us feel very pressurized by our lifestyle and situations and have not learnt to make peace with ourselves. Although positive thinking is recommended, we talk more about “stress” than what is better in our lives. “Stress” has taken place of any pain coming in our lives. Pain is actually an indicator for us to change. When we resist it, we need more energy to sustain in the same state.
Yoga, meditation, and exercise have become ultimate tools for wellness and to mitigate stress. Meditation, it’s theory and regular practice surely has been a transforming experience for me personally. Many people now understand the benefits of meditation and how it empowers the Self. Sound healing, visualization, and aroma therapies are newer trends to immerse senses and mind to experience the present moment.
Apart from meditation, what if I say there are foods which can help you to be calm? I am sure at least some will explore.
The Calmness Diet:
Eating adequate amount of certain nutrients can help decrease stress, anxiety, irritation and some can cause happiness directly.
Spinach , Mung beans, Asparagus: 1/2 c of cooked spinach has 130mcg of folate. Low levels of folate can make you feel anxious. Since folate is not stored in the body, we need folate rich foods everyday. Make a spinach soup or eat 1/2 cup spinach in 1/2c dal. 3/4c of mung beans have almost half the quantity of daily needs of folate for men. A cup of asparagus meets 2/3rd daily needs of folic acid. Toss asparagus in your salad or stir fry with rice and tofu for a complete meal.
Banana and Avacado: Wellness is of-course eating bananas as it can cause direct happiness by converting a protein called tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin causes happiness. Stress can cause depletion of potassium. Banana and Avacados are great source of B vitamins and potassium. Potassium in these foods can help decrease high blood pressure. B vitamins are helpful in decreasing mood disorders.
Sunflower seeds and oatmeal: These foods are rich in magnesium and can replenish the magnesium which gets depleted during times of stress. Make a trail mix with 1/4c Sunflower seeds with dried peels of apple or fresh fruit for munching or add in oatmeal. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant , helps relieve constipation and will also take care of your heart functioning.
Blueberries, Strawberries, Parsley, Guava: Our ever fast paced stressed lifestyle pumps in a steroid hormone called cortisol to fight tough situations. When it remains constantly elevated, it can compromise immunity of the body and can lead to health issues like high blood sugar, weight gain, and Inflammation.Vitamin C and antioxidants in these foods can help decrease cortisol levels.
Broccoli, Kale, Chauli Sag: Irritation, fatigue and low levels of magnesium are all linked together. Green and leafy vegetables have plenty of vitamin C , magnesium, fiber and folate. These foods can replenish magnesium and decrease irritation and fatigue. Folate helps produce mood boosters like serotonin and dopamine.
Yogurt and Idli : Fermented foods are probiotic and keep the gut healthy by producing beneficial bacteria. Fermented foods can uplift mood because gut health and brain are interconnected. Most of the happiness causing neurotransmitter called serotonin is produced in the gut!
Some of the combination recipes you may try:
1.Yogurt with blueberries and almonds
2. Spinach and Broccoli salad with sunflower seeds
3. Chauli Sag cooked with Tuvar dal
4. Oatmeal with chia seeds and Strawberries
5. Mini Idlis in parsley Raita
6. Guava Sorbet
Avoiding too much sugar, alcohol and caffeine can help you feel more relaxed and calm. We cannot always control deadlines, unreasonable people, or situations which may be triggers for stress, but a good calming diet strategy will prepare you to be more resilient to face the pressures of today’s life style with more confidence.