Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stress Relievers Through Foods & Exercise

Parent's Well-Being series 3 of 8

Did you know that certain foods can be beneficial during a stressful time in your life? And did you know a brain chemical monoamine neurotransmitter called serotonin is needed for a good restful sleep? If you are lacking enough sleep
due to anxiety and stress, you might not have enough serotonin to convert to the sleep substance melatonin.

Here is a list of foods that help tame stress and boost serotonin levels: (This list isn't for everyone. If you are on a strict diet and it's working for you, it's my suggestion to continue what works for you.)
  •  Oatmeal with fruit 
  •  Complex carbs~whole grain breads
~breakfast cereal
~old fashion oatmeal
  • Limit sweets and soda 
  • Oranges have vitamin C & curbs levels of stress hormones 
  •  Spinach or other green leafy vegetables have magnesium 
  •  Cooked soybeans or fillet of salmon also have magnesium 
  •  Fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids help prevent surges of stress hormones
~tuna (3oz) 2 times a week
  •  Crunchy raw vegetables help ease stress in a purely mechanical way
  • Nuts is another source of healthy fats which lowers cholesterol, ease inflammation in your hearts arteries, and help protect you against the effects of stress
~handful of pistachios and walnuts
~almonds (1/4 cup a day) has vitamin E which acts as a booster to your immune system + vitamin B which help gain resilience during stressful situations
  • Avocado is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure and has more potassium than a medium size banana 
  •  Drink healthy drinks
~Powerade (has vitamin B3 B6 & B12, potassium, and magnesium)
~Silk soy milk (has more calcium and vitamin B than regular dairy milk
  • Bedtime snacking? It’s suggested to not eat dinner too late or too close to bedtime. Why? This can trigger heartburn.
~snack on something light like carbs to speed up the release of the brain chemical serotonin and help you sleep better.

Get moving and de-stress with exercise:
  • 30 minute aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times a week
~power walking
~workout indoors with a stair stepper or exercise machine

Other ways to help calm anxieties and stress:
~give mindful meditation a try with a variety of meditation CD’s online. I like to listen to a soothing meditation CD sometime before bedtime to help ease my worries
~give journaling a try by writing your concerns on paper ~ ~read my article on Overwhelmedwith Worrying? Or Preoccupied with What-Ifs? It has suggestions on journaling questions to ask self.
~listen to some calming music
~get out and enjoy some sunshine
~go get a professional message
~relax in a nice warm bath
~watch a movie that makes you laugh
~connect with friends that have a positive outlook which can give you some encouragement

Check out this slide show on “Diet for Stress-Management” through WebMD website:

Hope these suggestions are helpful for you as it is important to take good care of our well-being.


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