Foods to Reduce Stress – Green Tea, Blueberries, and More
As if green tea couldn’t get any better, a little-known study from a few years ago showed that it is actually one of many foods to reduce stress. According to the Japanese study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009), drinking five cups of the tea each day could reduce stress by 20%.
Green Tea Among Foods to Reduce Stress
The study looked at 42,093 people, 2,774 of which suffered from psychological stress and said green tea consumption lessened that stress.
As reported by Nutraingredients.com:
“After adjusting their results for potential confounding factors, including age, sex, history of disease, BMI, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, diet, and other factors, a significant inverse association between green tea consumption and psychological distress was observed for people who drank at least five cups of green tea per day, compared to those who drank less than one cup per day.
Being an epidemiological study, the authors could not offer any evidence as to what the active constituents behind the apparent benefits could be. Further study is needed to elucidate the bioactives and mechanism of action.”
The active component EGCG (epogallocatechin gallate) in green tea had been previously associated with reduced physical and mental fatigue. This same component is credited with numerous other benefits of green tea.
Over the past several years, use of green tea in the West has skyrocketed, at least in part due to all of the new and promising research of its benefits. While green tea only accounts for 20% of the global tea production, it is said to contain four times the number of beneficial antioxidents as black tea.
From 2000 to 2003, the number of studies on green tea rose from 430 to 1500. There’s no doubt it’s grown exponentially since that time as well.
Getting five cups of green tea may be a challenge for many people, but there are ways to sneak more into your daily consumption. If you enjoy smoothies, for instance, use a cooled green tea instead of water or your regular liquid. Also, having tea after meals can aid in digestion and shut off your appetite.
Other foods to reduce stress include:
- Blueberries – Contain antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which help to lower stress.
- Broccoli – Contains B vitamins, which are known to relieve stress. Broccoli also possesses folic acid, also shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Pistachios, Almonds, and Walnuts – The B and E vitamins in almonds are great for relieving stress. They also contain stress-reducing magnesium and zinc. Walnuts and pistachios also help fight stress thanks to B vitamins.
- Dried Apricots – Also among foods to reduce stress, apricots are rich in magnesium, a known stress-fighter and a natural muscle relaxant.