Who wouldn’t be in this day and age? We all know that a healthy exercise regimen monitored by your Toronto Personal Trainer and gentle movements designed to stretch the muscles are both great to reduce stress levels, but they’re not the only things that you can do to help deal with your stress. Nutrition is a vital component to a healthy mind and body, so what you put in your mouth can also help.
1. Oats. The FDA thinks that oats are great – so much so that they’ve even declared that the humble oat is the only whole grain that has been clinically proven to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease (due to being packed full of soluble and insoluble fibre). The body takes a while to process oats, which means that you’ll feel full for a longer time, lasting until lunch so you won’t get that cranky-because-I’m-hungry feeling. Eating a bowl of oatmeal will aid in the release of serotonin, a “relaxing” chemical vital in reducing stress levels. This mighty grain also helps by improving and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Some medical practitioners even recommend eating oats as part of a treatment for depression and insomnia.
But remember: to take advantage of the health benefits of oats, you’ve got to eat the whole grain. Your best bet is to choose plain organic rolled or steel cut oats. Avoid quick cooking oats or preflavoured types, since their nutritional value is quite different (for the worse).
2. Dark chocolate. Yup, chocolate has been found by researchers to reduce the number of stress hormones in our bodies, as long as it’s at least 70% cocoa. Packed full of antioxidants, you can feel comfortable knowing that the chocolate you eat is actually “good” for you!
3. Salmon. Low levels of serotonin can lead to higher levels of stress, and since eating foods rich in Omega 3 can help increase serotonin production, it’s time you start eating fatty fish like salmon! Salmon is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, vital for good mental health. It can also help keep cortisol, the hormone connected to stress, in check.