Foods That Can Help Relieve Stress

Foods That Can Help Relieve Stress

When our lives get busy and stress takes over, we tend to indulge in comfort foods. Most comfort foods don’t actually reduce your level of stress, however, there are some foods that can. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Foods that are high in vitamin C can help give your immune system a boost when you’re stressed. They can also help lower cortisol levels in your body, which is the stress hormone. Oranges, berries, kale, peppers, and kiwi have a lot of vitamin C in them. Blueberries contain a lot of vitamin C and other antioxidants.

Magnesium is also good for handling stress. Low levels of magnesium can cause bad moods, fatigue, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Leafy green vegetables like spinach contain a lot of magnesium. Beans and brown rice have a lot, too.

Folate is also important because it helps produce dopamine, the brain’s pleasure chemical. Spinach and other leafy greens contain a lot of folate. Asparagus is another good source of folate.

Avocados also have a lot of folate and other vitamins and minerals in them like B vitamins which help keep nerves and brain cells healthy. They also contain a lot of potassium which helps keep blood pressure low.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a complex carb that doesn’t spike blood sugar because the body digests it slowly.

It’s also warm and comforting. Add some berries and nuts and it could be a good way to help your brain generate serotonin, a destressing neurotransmitter.

Make it with milk and increase the stress-relieving powers. Milk contains a lot of antioxidants and B vitamins. The protein lactium has a calming effect on the body and there is also a lot of potassium in a glass of milk.

Nuts and Seeds

The hand-occupying task of shelling nuts can help reduce stress in some ways, but the nuts inside also have stress-relieving benefits.

Pistachios contain phytonutrients that help support cardiovascular health.

Almonds also contain a lot of vitamins B2 and E which help the immune system during stressful times.

Cashews contain a lot of zinc, a mineral that helps reduce anxiety. They also contain a lot of omega-3s and protein. But cashews and other nuts also have a lot of calories, so eat them in moderation.

Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds contain a lot of magnesium.

Dark Chocolate

This is the advice we’ve all been waiting for. A bite of dark chocolate can help reduce stress hormones. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure and improve circulation. Look for the kinds of dark chocolate that have at least 70 percent cocoa. Remember, a bite, not the entire bar.

What to Avoid

To keep stress levels regulated, avoid refined sugars. They give a quick boost of energy and then a sugar low follows. The same happens with white carbs like potato chips, flour, bread, and pasta.

Caffeine can also cause jitters, heart palpitations, and insomnia if stress levels are already high. Opt for decaf or herbal teas instead. Many herbal teas can help reduce stress hormones.

If you need help reaching your nutritional goals, the professionals at B3 Medical can help. Contact us today.

How a Massage Can Relieve Stress

How a Massage Can Relieve Stress

Stress is part of our lives each and every day and chances are you’re trying to get rid of some of it. Massage is a good way to relax and forget about life for a bit.

Massage reduces the levels of stress-related chemicals in the body like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. It can stimulate the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which are chemicals that make our bodies feel good. Massage can also lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Some types of massage work better than others for relieving stress. For example, a deep tissue massage usually isn’t thought of for stress relief, but rather pain relief. However, removing physical restrictions in the connective tissue can decrease stress. At B3, we believe that structure creates and maintains function. Our therapists work with you to decrease stress through a systematic approach that will eventually lead to lower stress levels in the body.

There are also a number of other things that can be done occasionally to help decrease stress. 

What to Ask For?

Swedish massage is the most common type of massage. Therapists use different motions to release tension, decompress muscle tissue, and get rid of those knots in the muscles. They use a variety of techniques, but the longer and smoother gliding strokes can be the most relaxing.

Most massage therapists will add aromatherapy to the massage, which can also help relieve stress. Lavender, geranium, and chamomile are some of the most popular scents for massage.

Shiatsu or Thai massage are also gentle and tension-relieving. Shiatsu means finger pressure and during this type of massage, a therapist uses thumbs, hands, elbows, knees, or feet to apply pressure to points in the body. The therapist might also rotate or stretch the limbs. Thai massage is more about stretching and is sometimes more energizing than relaxing.

Acupressure can help trigger points in the body to relax, which loosens tight muscles and leads to relaxation.

A hot stone massage is also good for relaxation. The heat from the smooth stones can help ease the tension causing muscle knots. The stones are especially good if you only like light pressure when getting a massage.

Scalp Massage

There are thin muscles on the scalp that can hold a lot of tension. A scalp massage can be a great stress reliever. Most people hold stress in the head, neck, and shoulders, so taking care of those areas can be beneficial, especially if you have a time limit.

The ears also contain many pressure points, so massaging them can help the central nervous system release endorphins. If you’re interested in integrating massage therapy into your overall health plan, talk to the professionals at B3 Medical. We can help you be a healthier and less stressed you.