The right nutrition to combat stress

Do you feel exhausted? Do you blow your top easily? Our nutritionist Marianne Botta knows the right foods to combat stress in every situation.

You're all worked up, but you need to work.

Eat a handful of nuts and drink peppermint tea. The oil from peppermint leaves helps with nervous digestive problems and headache. Nuts also help, especially cashews, which contain the most magnesium. This trace element has a calming effect.

You keep reaching for your "comfort food".

Watch out that you don't eat too much when stressed. Stress can make you gain weight. Under pressure, the body produces cortisol, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. As a consequence, fat tends to get stored in the abdominal region.

Your mood is really low.

Eat a spicy Asian curry. Its essential oils will promote a sense of well-being. The gingerol in ginger is relaxing, and the capsaicin in paprika and chilli is a mood-booster. Fermented sauces such as soy sauce contain a lot of salsolinol, which also helps lift your mood.

You have to give a talk after lunch.

For your lunch, choose a plate of falafel with yoghurt sauce. Chickpeas contain a lot of amino acids, which are important for the brain and nervous system. The lactic acid in yoghurt will give your nerve cells energy. Tip: avoid bread. It will just make you tired.

If a nap isn't possible.

Chocolate helps very quickly. It raises serotonin levels and promotes positive mood. It is also an important source of theobromine, which is chemically similar to caffeine. It is a stimulant and a mood-booster.

You are about to have a discussion with someone you don't like.

Eat some peanuts with wasabi beforehand. Crunchy foods have been shown to reduce aggression. The spicy mustard oils in wasabi will immediately lift your mood, and the burning on your tongue will cause the body to release relaxing endorphins. Peanuts contain a lot of resveratrol, which also has a calming effect.

You have trouble falling asleep at night.

Drink milk with honey or eat a banana. Honey promotes the release of insulin, which expands blood vessels and thus exerts a relaxing effect. Milk supports formation of the happiness hormone serotonin, as do bananas. They are truly "good mood" fruit.


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