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Anxiety Disorders, Foods Proven to Reduce Stress
- Updated: August 19, 2014
According to recent statistics, approximately 40 million people over the age of 18 and who live in the United States deal with some kind of anxiety disorder. In fact, of all mental illnesses, anxiety is the most common. One aspect shared by phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and others, is stress. Because stress affects so many people, scientists, researchers, and medical professionals have worked hard for years to find both alternative and conventional treatments.
Experts know how important diet is to reducing but also preventing stress and just recently, identified a number of new foods that accomplish these goals. For example, researchers at Pennsylvania State University conducted a study whereby they discovered that for people with Type 2 Diabetes, eating pistachios reduced the body’s response to stress. According to the study’s co-author, Sheila G. West, pistachios “lowered vascular constriction during stress and improved neural control of the heart”.
Another expert from Harvard University’s Department of Nutrition, Lilian Cheung, supports the findings from the Pennsylvania State University study but goes further by claiming the very process of cracking open the shell and eating the nut slowly helps de-stress the mind. Of course, in addition to pistachios, a number of other foods have been shown to work amazingly well in the battle against stress.
Both bananas and avocado are incredible choices for reducing stress. These two foods are rich in potassium, which is a critical mineral needed to keep blood pressure within a healthy range. Tea, especially green tea, is another great option. Just as with pistachios, tea is something that is consumed slowly but in addition, it contains a number of healing properties.
Swiss chard, as well as other leafy greens, is also a great stress reliever. The heavy load of magnesium works by balancing cortisol, one of the body’s vital hormones. However, one of the best and favorite choices is fatty fish. This includes fish like tuna, sardines, and salmon, which provide omega 3 known for promoting a healthy heart while reducing high levels of stress.
There are also foods that reduce the unwanted effects of stress. For instance, most people experience muscle tension and headache associated with stress. To lower or prevent stress, an individual can consume any of foods mentioned, among others, but to combat physical consequences, they can turn to milk, which is loaded with calcium, protein, and B vitamins.