5 Top Foods that Combat Stress

We all have busy schedules, work deadlines, and many other factors that cause stress and reduce our body's natural defenses. Stress causes body damage. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to combat stress. Healthy eating can be effective in reducing stress in a naturally. Here are 5 top foods that combat stress.

1. Blueberries
Blueberries are a proven stress buster. They are loaded with antioxidants that revive and rejuvenate damaged cells in the body. They neutralize free radicals in the body and prevent cell damage. They also improve the body's response to fight stress and anxiety. And blueberries improve immunity, which again, plays a vital role in reducing stress.

2. Dark chocolate
Here is a real plus for chocolate lovers. Not all chocolate has the power to effectively combat stress, but dark chocolate has a relaxing effect on your body. Studies show that dark chocolate consumption results in a reduction in cortisol, the stress hormone, thereby relieving stress. The cocoa has a high amount of antioxidant that lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels. For a calming effect, pick chocolate that contains over 70 % cocoa.

3. Avocados
If you are not trying to lose weight, avocados can be beneficial for combating stress. They contain glutathione which blocks the absorption of fats responsible for oxidative damage. They also increase satiety making you feel more satisfied. This reduces stress and promotes better health. Since it is high in fats, consider limiting your intake by eating just half an avocado with your meal.

4. Cashews
Nuts have always been a great snack, but cashews have an added advantage. The cashew is packed with proteins and omega-3s that reduce cravings and make you feel full. They are rich in zinc which helps in preventing stress. In fact zinc deficiency is a major contributor to stress and anxiety. So, replenishing your zinc stores may help in preventing stress altogether. Having a few every day may seem beneficial for anyone. And due to their high protein content, cashews can also be a great snack for those trying to lose weight.

5. Salmon
Eating salmon has many heath benefits, the major 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.

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