With rapid improvement in our standards of living, Singaporeans has slowly built up a materialistic culture. We push ourselves relentlessly in pursuit of the 5C’s – cash, car, condominium, credit card and country club, and there is a constant pressure to excel even at a very young age, and this places a lot of stress on the society, regardless of age groups or social classes. You may feel that this is life and there’s nothing you can do about the ever-rising stress levels in our society.
But the fact is, you can have more control over stress than you might think. Other than cultivating a healthier, active lifestyle and trying to surround yourself with positive thoughts, you’ll be glad to know that some foods can also be your trusty allies for some serious stress-busting. Do note that these foods do not magically make all the stress go away, but may reduce the negative health effects highly associated with chronic stress, like depression, anxiety and insomnia.
1 Chocolate-Coated Almond
Chocolate has been found to improve mood by increasing serotonin and endorphin (our happy hormones) levels in the brain and almonds contains B vitamins, especially B6 and B9(folate), which helps to make us more resilient during bouts of stress or depression.
Just make sure to go for dark chocolate, the healthier variety of chocolate with less fats and sugar, and limit your daily intake of almond, which is high in fat, to avoid the end-result of higher stress due to a battle with your weighing scale.
2 Whole Milk
Recent studies shows that calcium helps to ease anxiety and mood swings linked to PMS. Furthermore, Lactium, a protein found in milk, also appears to have a calming effect on our body by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of cortisol, our stress hormone.
3 Asparagus Benefits
Depression has been linked to low levels of folic acid, a vitamin associated with serotonin production in the brain, and asparagus one of the many vegetables that helps to boost the levels of this mood-enhancing nutrient. If you’re worried about weird smelling pee due to too much asparagus, other folic acid loaded vegetables also include broccoli and brussel sprouts.
Oranges, or any other fruits high in vitamin C, like grapefruits or berries, will be your perfect mid-day stress-busting snack. Research studies have shown that vitamin C can not only strengthen our immune system but also help with curbing levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In addition, oranges are also a good source of B vitamins like B6 and B9 (folate).
5 Instant Oatmeal
Carbohydrates will help to stimulate the brain to produce serotonin, our ‘happiness hormone’. Complex carbohydrates like a warm bowl of oatmeal, be it topped with berries or flavoured with honey and cinnamon, can not only boost our levels of serotonin, but also help to ensure a steadier supply of serotonin level in our body as they’re absorbed more slowly.
A Civil Engineer in the day and a glutton who runs an online website sharing some humble opinions related to food and beauty by night time, with the motto of “exercise to keep fit, so as to eat more!” I love food, and has a weak spot for desserts! The good thing is that I love my gym time as much, keeping me balanced on my weighing scale.