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Foods that REDUCE stress by DavidP

by DavidP, posted to Health & Fitness

Here's a list of foods for stress relief.

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A German study in Psychopharmacology found that vitamin C helps reduce stress and return blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. Vitamin C is also well-known for boosting your immune system.

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Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes can be particularly stress-reducing because they can satisfy the urge you get for carbohydrates and sweets when you are under a great deal of stress. They are packed full of beta-carotene and other vitamins, and the fiber helps your body to process the carbohydrates in a slow and steady manner.

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A deficiency in magnesium can cause migraine headaches and a feeling of fatigue. One cup of spinach provides 40 percent of your daily needs for magnesium.

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The monounsaturated fats and potassium in avocados help lower blood pressure. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says that one of the best ways to lower blood pressure is to consume enough potassium (avocados have more than bananas).

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Turkey contains an amino acid called L-tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical. This is the reason why many people who eat turkey feel relaxed, or even tired, after eating it. L-Tryptophan has a documented calming effect.

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This little snack packs a healthy punch with B2 (riboflavin), vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. The actual hormone, serotonin, which balance mood and stress, is in almonds. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which can enhance an individual’s immune system, while zinc has been shown to fight negative effects of stress. However, this snack should only be consumed in small portions, because it is high in fat.

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Very rich in antioxidants, blueberries offer a high-fiber, low-calorie fruit option that is also rich in stress-fighting vitamin C. Try them with cottage cheese or as a snack on their own.

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Place them as a single layer on the grill or use a grilling basket.

This green veggie is high in folic acid, which can help stabilize your mood. "When you're stressed, your body releases hormones that affect your mood," says Geise. "Eating certain vitamins and minerals like folic acid and B vitamins can help keep your mood steady because they're needed to make serotonin, which is a chemical that directly affects mood in a positive way.

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Milk is high in antioxidants and vitamins B2 and B12, as well as protein and calcium. Have a bowl of whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk in the morning to start your day with a stress-fighting breakfast.

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Even though beef often gets a bad rap, it's a great dinner option for a stressed-out family. Beef contains high levels of zinc, iron, and B vitamins, which are also known to help stabilize your mood. "People think they should stay away from beef, but it's very nutrient rich, even compared to chicken," says Geise. Ask your grocery store butcher for a lean cut if you'r

Erin, Chief Mom: Good to know!

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A great lunch option, tuna is high in stress-fighting vitamins B6 and B12. Tuna is also a good low-fat protein source. "Don't load tuna down with fat by using a lot of mayonnaise," cautions Geise. "Choose a light mayo instead."

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