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10 superfoods that fight STRESS

Last updated on: May 9, 2012 18:42 IST

Image: Nuts
Photographs: Courtesy Gud2Eat.com Courtesy Gud2Eat.com

Did you know of these feel-good foods? Here are some that help you beat anxiety and tension.

The suggestions in the following pages add new meaning to the term 'comfort foods'. The nutrients they provide can actually serve to lift your mood, so read on and learn how to beat stress through your diet!

1. A handful of nuts

Nuts are packed with magnesium, which seems to help keep cortisol levels low; this in turn means reduced stress levels. Also, almonds are loaded with B and E vitamins, which help boost your immune system and walnuts and pistachios help lower blood pressure. Eat nuts in moderation, however, as they are high in calories.

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2. Broccoli

Image: Broccoli
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Whether it's steamed, stir-fried or eaten raw with your favorite dip, broccoli is a healthy bet. It contains folic acid, which helps relieve stress, panic, anxiety and depression.

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3. Desserts

Image: Desserts
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An ice cream or any sugary food, for that matter, will decrease levels of anxiety-producing hormones like glucocorticoid. Note how just a little sugar on the tongue is enough to produce a feel-good effect, so don't overdo it!

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4. Whole grain bread

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A slice of whole grain bread with jam or honey is a snack that contains complex carbohydrate-rich foods which raise serotonin levels, boosting your mood and helping you relax.

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5. Salmon

Image: Salmon
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Savour some salmon, as it contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help brain cells to function more efficiently and reduces levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

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6. Dark chocolate

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Dark chocolate is a potent endorphin-producing food that helps boost your mood and reduces stress levels. Eat dark chocolate with cocoa content of more than 70 percent.

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7. Orange juice

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Even a short bout of tension can influence your immune system. Vitamin C in citrus fruits helps boost your immunity and it is also an antioxidant, which fights the free radicals that release when you're stressed.

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8. Regular exercise and balanced nutrition


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Note that when blood sugar is low, mental, physical and emotional energy diminishes and stress increases. Regular exercise, a nutritious and balanced diet and smaller meals all help to reduce stress levels.

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9. Hot cocoa

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You may try a warm glass of chocolate milk for stress relief, as warm drinks raise your body temperature, which is linked with comfort and that in turn triggers a stress relief response in your brain.

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10. Green tea

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Green tea contains polyphenols -- powerful antioxidants that stimulate the availability of dopamine, which is important when it comes to creating positive moods.

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