5 Stress-Busting Foods You Must Include in Your Diet

Stressed beyond wits? Forget everything and indulge in a bar of dark chocolate! 

Updated
Food
3 min read
Struggling with stress? A trip to the kitchen is all you need. 
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Stressed? The temptation to grab that burger, packet of chips and ordering a pizza will give you nothing more than empty calories and an attack of guilt. So what should you do? Warm up to the existence of superfoods, which are both healthy and entirely capable of lifting your mood and spirits. We got in touch with Dr Pooja Sharma of drpoojasharma.com, a nutritionist and lefestyle expert based out of Powai, Mumbai. Next time when you feel bogged down by life, find refuge in these stress-busters:

1. Chocolate

Dark chocolates help relieve stress. 
Dark chocolates help relieve stress. 
(Photo: iStock)

Who doesn’t like a chocolate or two? But did you know chocolate, dark chocolate specifically, can lift your mood? According to a study published online in ACS Journal of Proteome Research, an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduces levels of stress hormones in the body. The study also claims that chocolate corrects stress-related biochemical imbalances.

Dark chocolate reduces the stress levels by lowering the stress hormone called cortisol. It also improves the mood by increasing endorphin levels (happy hormones) in brain. 
Dr Pooja Sharma, Nutritionist & Lifestyle Expert, Powai, Mumbai

2. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is said to have soothing effect on tired, anxious mind. 
Chamomile tea is said to have soothing effect on tired, anxious mind. 
(Photo: iStock)

“Chamomile tea significantly relaxes blood vessels and smoothens muscle fibers”, claims a study conducted by the University of Nottingham Medical School in UK. Not just this, several other researchers back chamomile as significantly effective against anxiety and disturbed sleep patterns.

Chamomile tea promotes sleep. It also contains antioxidants to reduce stress. 
Dr Pooja Sharma, Nutritionist & Lifestyle Expert

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are known to be stress-relievers. 
Blueberries are known to be stress-relievers. 
(Photo: iStock)

Blueberries are a rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which are scientifically proven to help lower stress-levels. Researchers from the Department of Food and Nutrition in Chung-Ang University, Korea found that antioxidant properties of blueberries help relieve stress and anxiety. Reiterates Dr Sharma,

Blueberries are full of antioxidants and vitamin C and hence, lowers cholesterol and cortisol levels. 

4. Banana

Bananas are all you need to shun the stress. 
Bananas are all you need to shun the stress. 
(Photo: iStock)

If you want to keep stress away, keep bananas close. If research is to be believed, bananas boosts the level of happiness hormone serotonin. Besides, the high vitamin B12 content in banana also relieves stress and anxiety, making you much calmer and at peace with yourself.

Bananas help to reduce stress as it is a good source of vitamin B. Also, it gives instant, sustained and substantial energy. 
Dr Pooja Sharma, Nutritionist & Lifestyle Expert

5. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as orange, lemon are great stress-relievers. 
Citrus fruits such as orange, lemon are great stress-relievers. 
(Photo: iStock)

Stress paves the way for an exodus of free radicals in the body, which are both unwanted and harmful. Citrus fruits are rich source of antioxidants which fight free radicals, and thereby, reduce stress. Fruits such as oranges are also rich in vitamin C which boosts immunity and keeps the body healthy and stress-free.

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