Exercise. Meditation. A good laugh. These are all proven methods that can help you relax. But what about eating? Studies have shown that certain foods contain properties that actually aid in relaxation. So eat your way to a more zen you with these 10 foods that help you relax.
Whole Wheat Pretzels
Pretzels are an easy way to get a quick energy boost. But opt for the healthier whole wheat variety to score some extra nutrients.
Beyond the crunching and munching (which can help alleviate stress), carrots have vitamin A and other anti-aging properties that will have you looking (and feeling) younger.
There’s a reason why people opt to drink tea when they want to relax. Tea has calming properties, plus the warmth of a hot cup of tea can be completely soothing.
Nuts are a great option for those who are suffering from chronic stress and find themselves run down. High in vitamin E and zinc, nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are immune system-boosters, helping your body fight off stress and sickness.
Green Leafy Vegetables
If it seems like everyone lately is eating kale, there’s a reason. Hearty green leafy veggies such as kale and Swiss chard are full of magnesium. This can help the body reduce its level of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Whether you like Greek, nonfat, or low-fat yogurt, yogurt contains probiotics that work in conjunction with your digestive system to keep it calm and working well.
It’s no coincidence that you reach for a big piece of chocolate cake when you’re stressed out. Research shows that chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) can lower stress hormones in the body.
Who can deny that a warm glass of milk can make you feel super sleepy and relaxed? With B-vitamins, protein, vitamin D, and bone-building calcium, milk helps to relieve tension in the body. Plus, the amino acid tryptophan helps to relieve tense muscles, making it easier to relax and sleep. (For a healthier option, opt for fat-free or low-fat milk.)
Banana & Avocado
Loaded with potassium, both bananas and avocados can assist in keeping blood pressure low in your body.
The heart-healthy omega-3 fats in fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna manage adrenaline levels, which help keep you calm, cool and collected.