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Stressbuster snacks: 5 foods to beat stress and promote relaxation

We often indulge in comfort food when we are stressed out and end up feeling more miserable due to the additional calories as well as its impact on our mood. Be it a slice of sinful dessert, a piece of deep-fried samosa or a handful of crunchy cookies, these feel-good munchies may brighten up the mood for a moment or two, but dull the senses, leading to increase in your stress levels rather than calming you for the challenge ahead. If you look for such comfort foods during a high-stress day, you are likely to stress about your weight gain in long term. So, to ease your day, it is important to pick your snacks with care and include nutrient-rich treats be it makhana, almonds, berries or Greek Yoghurt. These foods will not only beat your stress but also keep your energy levels high. (Also read: Coconut water for weight loss; 6 ways it can help you shed kilos)

It is recommended to keep fruits and a handful of almonds as healthy snacking options. (Freepik)

“As a nutritionist, I often advise my patients to avoid stress eating, especially reaching for junk food. Instead, I recommend keeping fruits and a handful of almonds nearby for healthier snacking options. Makhanas are also a good choice for snacking. It’s important to shift our focus from just snacking to healthy snacking,” says Dr. Rohini Patil, MBBS and Nutritionist.

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Dr Patil shares five foods that can ease your stress and promote relaxation

1. Bananas

Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider reaching for a banana. Bananas are packed with nutrients that can help soothe your nerves. Bananas contain potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and maintains steady heart function, even during stressful situations. Additionally, they’re a convenient and portable snack that you can take anywhere.

2. Almonds

Almonds play a crucial role in combating stress due to their rich nutrient profile. They are packed with magnesium, which promotes relaxation and helps combat stress. Additionally, their high vitamin E content acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body from the harmful effects of stress-induced free radicals. Snacking on a handful of almonds daily can be a convenient and effective way to alleviate stress.

3. Green tea

Sipping on a cup of green tea can feel like giving your body a hug from the inside. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been proven to promote relaxation and decrease stress levels. So, instead of opting for that third cup of coffee when you’re feeling frazzled, consider brewing a soothing cup of green tea instead.

4. Seasonal berries and fruits

Having seasonal berries and fruits are also handy options. They are rich in Vitamin C which helps to combat stress. Oranges, grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries are best suited, also they are loaded with antioxidants which help in decreasing stress and anxiety. They also boost your mood, making you feel light and fresh.

5. Makhana

Makhana is a great snacking option, it is packed with micronutrients like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and it also contains antioxidant compounds like gallic acid and epicatechin which reduces inflammation and protects against stress and other health conditions. Munching on Makhana roasted in ghee along with some ghee roasted almonds is the best combination.

6. Greek yoghurt

Did you know that your gut health can influence your stress levels? That’s where Greek yoghurt comes in handy. Packed with probiotics, it promotes a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, which can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Enjoy it as a snack on its own or use it as a creamy topping for your favourite dishes – either way, your gut will thank you for it.

By snacking on these foods, you can nourish your body and mind, leaving you feeling calmer, happier, and more resilient in the face of life’s challenges.

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