We all go through stressful events - and they don't even
have to be big, just the daily hassles of life—and it causes our cortisol
levels to rise. Cortisol increases our desire for food, especially sweet foods,
according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco
Medical Center. However, the more we eat
them, the worse our mood gets.
As if that weren't bad enough, the cortisol then triggers an
enzyme in our fat cells which converts another hormone, cortisone to more
cortisol. Since our visceral fat cells (the ones in our abdomen, packed around
our vital organs) have more of these enzymes than the subcutaneous fat cells
(the fat on our thighs and butts, for example), stress causes us to accumulate
more belly fat.
The more stress we undergo, the more this abdominal, or
central, obesity occurs. Some research has found that these belly fat cells,
which have been linked to a greater risk for heart disease and diabetes, have
four times as many cortisol receptors as regular fat cells.
Stress has also been pinpointed as one of the possible
causes of hypertension. If you have to deal with stressful events occasionally have
are not handling properly, it could possibly lead to you developing high blood
The good news is that there are foods found in Nigeria that that
can soothe and calm you, and melt that stress away. Whether it's because of the
specific nutrients they provide or the steady, reliable source of energy they
give you, they'll get you through the day feeling focused, even, and
balanced—so you'll have the ability to conquer anything.
These creamy fruits increase your body resistance to stress.
Rich in glutathione, a substance that specifically blocks intestinal absorption
of certain fats that cause oxidative damage, avocados also contain lutein,
beta-carotene, vitamin E, and more folate than any other fruit. A quarter of an
avocado has plenty of B vitamins, too. It is important to note, while this may
technically be a fruit, it does contain fat as well, so use portion control
2. Cashew nuts
Cashew nuts make great snacks, and because they are crunchy
and a little salty, they cure many cravings. For those trying to lose weight,
they're such a potently satisfying combo of protein and fat. Cashews are an
especially good source of zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to both
anxiety and depression. Since our bodies have no way of storing zinc, it's
important to get some every day. Again you have to watch portion size as they
are high in calories.
3. Chamomile tea
This is probably one of the most recommended bedtime
soothers around. There is a lot of evidence that chamomile calms. A study from
the University of Pennsylvania tested chamomile supplements on 57 participants
with generalized anxiety disorder for 8 weeks, and found it led to a
significant drop in anxiety symptoms.
Besides the healthy antioxidants in this treat, which push
chocolate to the top of most heart-healthy food lists, it has an undeniable
link to mood. There's evidence that, in moderation, chocolate does actually
make you feel better. Dark chocolate, in particular, is known to lower blood
pressure, adding to a feeling of calm. It also contains polyphenols and flavonols—two
important types of antioxidants.
Garlic is packed with powerful antioxidants that neutralize
free radicals (particles that damage our cells, cause diseases, and encourage
aging) and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage the free radicals
cause over time. Among these compounds found in garlic is allicin, which has
been linked to preventing heart disease, cancer, and even the common cold.
Because stress weakens our immune system, food items like garlic can help toughen
it back up.
6. Green Tea
While it does contain caffeine, green tea also has an amino
acid called theanine. Researchers at the University of Illinois, in the United
States say that in addition to protecting against some types of cancer, this
slimming food is a brain booster as well, enhancing mental performance. It is
recommended that you drink two cups each day to enjoy its full benefits.
Oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate which causes your brain to
produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Not only does serotonin have
antioxidant properties, it also has a soothing effect that helps overcome
stress. Studies have shown that children who eat oatmeal for breakfast stay
sharper throughout the morning. In addition, oatmeal contains beta-glucan, a
type of soluble fiber, which has been shown to promote greater feeling of being
full than other grains.
This fruit hardly seems to go out of season in Nigeria and
is available all year round. Oranges are
packed full of vitamin which studies have shown can help relieve stress. Their
tough skin keeps them fresh for longer than some of the fruits that we commonly
get from the market and makes them an ideal candidate to carry around as a handy