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October 25, 2016

5 Indian Foods That Are Stress-Busters



Stress is something that every individual experiences. Anything that poses a challenge or threat to our physical & mental well-being is stress. Most of us feel that our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless without stress. However, when the stress affects both our mental and physical health they are bad. Too much of stress leads to many physical as well as mental problems. Stress leads to mental and physical breakdown. Due to this exhaustion, the body gets prone to diseases, including heart problems and mental illnesses like anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders, like panic attacks, phobias, and social anxiety disorders, lead people to fatal situations. Stress might not seem like a big deal but if it prolongs for a longer period of time it becomes a huge dilemma. It creates a lot of imbalance in one’s fitness and health. Stress related issues need to be dealt smartly. One of the prime ways of coping with stress is to eat right. Eating healthy is important to allow our bodies to get the vitamins and proteins that it requires in order to produce the fluids that help the body in dealing with stressful situations and prevents the body from getting over-stressed. Indian food offers a lot of dishes that helps one in decreasing stress, and few of those elements are:

    1. Nuts and Seeds
      Grab a combo of pistachios, cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds for a powerhouse package of fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, all of which lower blood pressure. In one study, pistachios dulled the effects of anxiety in people taking a math test. Omega-3 essential fatty acids in walnuts have been linked to reduced rates of depression, the selenium in cashews and almonds has been shown to elevate mood, and tryptophan in pumpkin seeds may help the brain make serotonin. Just stick to one handful.
    2. Curry
      Cozy up to a bowl of spicy Indian food and two things happen. When your brain detects capsaicin—the molecule in chili peppers—it releases endorphins to calm things down. And curcumin (curry) actually shields key parts of the brain against the effects of stress, as per recent research. Add spinach for a hit of magnesium, which has been shown to ease tension headaches.
  1. Green leafy vegetables
    It’s tempting to reach for a cheeseburger when stressed, but go green at lunch instead. “Green leafy vegetables like spinach contain folate, which produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing brain chemical, helping you keep calm,” says Heather Mangieri, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A 2012 study in the Journal of Affective Disorders of 2,800 middle-aged and elderly people found those who consumed the most folate had a lower risk of depression symptoms than those who took the least. A 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier, and more energetic on days they ate more fruits and vegetables. There are hundreds of Indian dishes that teach you to cook green leafy vegetables in different and new ways, thereby making vegetables tasty and interesting.
  2. Yogurt
    As bizarre as it may sound, the bacteria in your gut might be contributing to stress. Research has shown that the brain signals to the gut, which is why stress can inflame gastrointestinal symptoms; communication may flow the other way too, from gut to brain. A 2013 UCLA study among 36 healthy women revealed that consuming probiotics in yogurt reduced brain activity in areas that handle emotion, including stress compared to people who consumed yogurt without probiotics or no yogurt at all. As this study was small so more research is needed to confirm the results, but considering yogurt is full of calcium and protein in addition to probiotics, you really can’t go wrong by adding more of it to your diet. One of the very popular dishes of Indian cuisine is Raita. It is basically yogurt in which several spices are added along with veggies like tomatoes, onions, and cucumber. It is a very healthy and helps dealing with stress.
  3. Sweet potatoes or Shakarkandi
    Sweet potatoes are full of immune boosting nutrients which help you fight stress. A warm dish of sweet potatoes after a long day gives you a feeling of satisfaction and tranquility. Shakarkandi is one of the very popular street dishes offered in India. It is made out of sweet potatoes and therefore helps reducing stress. Also, sweet potatoes are regarded as one of the healthiest foods to eat due to the presence of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and iron.

To avoid stress and lead a stress-free life, cultivate the habit of eating above-mentioned dishes and explore ways to make eating these more interesting.

Eat Healthy & Stay Healthy!

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