Foods that Calm, Relax and Help Focus

We got this from our friends at Made to be Unique web designs she believes they work and at the very least they are tasty foods that can’t hurt. So said that these foods were the outtcome of her doing research for a child with Autism. I hope you enjoy and besides we all could use a little relaxation in our busy lives.

Foods that Calm, Relax & Help Focus FOODS THAT CALM

Our son is quite a ball of joyful energy, sometimes a bit too much energy infact, especially when it’s time to sit down, be still and learn something new!  So my husband and I did a study on how to help him calm down a bit and help him focus better.  This study was not only for him, but also to learn what foods help us all feel better and less stressed as well! We learned that (our favorites) pastas, white breads, pizza, white rice, chips, sodas, sugary cereals and pastries are probably adding to anxiety & hyperactivity problems.

All that starch is just plain bad for us.  And a lack of b6 can cause nervousness, irritability, and even depression. In short, we should eat more complex carbs, whole wheat breads, oats, fresh fruit, fish and drink plenty of milk and tea for less stress, longevity and less hyper activeness.  (Seek out foods rich in minerals, vitamins C, B and omega-3 fatty acids)

Breakfast Items Oatmeal Milk Banana Oranges Berries Whole wheat breads & crackers Mixed nuts

Lunch items Salad leafy greens (with oranges, berries and nuts would be great!) Whole wheat breads & crackers Nuts (ie. Peanut butter) Fish (ie. Tuna/salmon) Oranges Avacado   Snacks Mixed nuts Nutella Banana Berries Oranges Whole wheat breads & crackers

Dinner items Salad leafy greens (with oranges, berries and nuts would be great!) Fish (ie. Tuna/salmon) Avocados Guacamole Mixed nuts Asparagus   Drinks Milk Chai tea Chamomile and valerian tea use with raw honey

Deserts made with Dark chocolate Oats Bananas Oranges Mixed nuts Berries Whole grains Raw honey   In Finer Detail…. IT’S GREAT TO DRINK Milk, hold the coffee and sugar. Stress may lower your levels of serotonin, one of the body’s critical stay-calm chemicals. But milk contains whey protein, which dutch researchers found can help boost tryptophan, one of the building blocks of serotonin, by 43 percent. Milk contains the naturally occurring amino acid known as tryptophan, which is used by the brain to create serotonin, according to clipmarks.com. Milk is also high in calcium, a vitamin and electrolyte that assists the body in the processing of tryptophan, says helpguide.org.

Chai tea, Chamomile and valerian tea often times, warm drinks can be the best soothers of all. Chai tea has a great smell and can make all stressers disappear. Try to find decaffeinated chai tea.  Also, valerian and chamomile herbal tea supply a sedative-like compound and may induce relaxation and sleep. Sipping a cup of hot, herbal tea is a relaxing ritual that eases the mind and calms the soul. One of the best herbs for relaxation is chamomile. So powerful are the calming effects of chamomile tea that a study showed it could reduce anxiety and panic in people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. This plant that resembles the daisy is often made into a tea to sip at bedtime – to relieve insomnia. One precaution. People who are allergic to daisies, have bleeding disorders, or who are pregnant should avoid drinking chamomile tea.

GREAT TO EAT Oranges – fast stress relief Oranges for stress relief, who knew? It turns out that vitamin c relieves stress by returning your blood pressure and levels of cortisol (a chemical produced by the body when you’re under stress) to normal quickly. People who take 1,000 milligrams of c before giving a speech have lower levels of cortisol and lower blood pressures than those who don’t. So lean back, take a deep breath, and concentrate on peeling a large orange. The 5-minute mindfulness break will ease your mind, and you’ll get a bunch of c as well. Vitamin c is important is lowering the level of cortisol that is produced by stress. Vitamin c is also important in lowering blood pressure. Calm down and concentrate on peeling a large orange. Not only will you be getting much needed vitamin c, the peeling will also help soothe you. Some people also find the scent of oranges and other citrus fruits relaxing.

Bananas. Bananas are chock full of nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. Adding bananas to the diet helps the brain release both serotonin and melatonin, as well as promoting muscle relaxation and relief from stress, according to clipmarks.com.  Berries. For those tough times when tension tightens your jaw, try rolling a frozen berry around in your mouth. And then another, and another. Since the carbs in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won’t have a blood-sugar crash. The bonus: they’re a good source of vitamin c, which helps fight a jump in cortisol, a stress hormone. Any kind of berries will do the trick.

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries…any berries! Because the carbohydrates found naturally in berries turn to sugar very slowly, you won’t have a blood sugar crash. Berries are also a good source of vitamin c, which helps fight the stress hormone cortisol. Add berries to your cereal or just eat them one at a time–instead of the candy!

Mixed nuts. Just an ounce will do. Walnuts help replace those stress-depleted b vitamins, brazil nuts give you a whopping amount of zinc (which is also drained by high anxiety), and almonds boost your e, which helps fight cellular damage linked to chronic stress. Buy nuts in the shell and think of it as multitasking: with every squeeze of the nutcracker, you’re releasing a little tension. Nuts are a fast way to fix depleted vitamin b. An ounce of nuts will not only replace vitamin b, but it also will give you a healthy amount of zinc. Vitamin e is found in almonds and will help to fight cellular damage that comes from chronic stress.

Avocados lower your blood pressure Stress is a great excuse to indulge in creamy guacamole. Not only will you get instant stress relief from this green marvel, you’ll also do your heart good. Avocado contains both monounsaturated fat, and potassium, which can lower your blood pressure. If you’re craving something creamy, look no further. Avocados are loaded with b vitamins, which stress quickly depletes and which your body needs in order to maintain nerves and brain cells. Plus, their creaminess comes from healthy fat.   Vitamin b is essential for nerves and brain cells. Unfortunately, stress quickly rids your body of essential vitamin b. Fortunately, avacados are filled with b vitamins.

Asparagus. Each tender stalk is a source of folic acid, a natural mood lightener. Dip the spears in fat-free yogurt or sour cream for a hit of calcium with each bite. Salad with grilled chicken or fish. Leafy greens–arugula, chard, spinach–are rich sources of b vitamins, which are part of the assembly line that manufactures feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.

Oats, your serotonin enhancer Just like your mother told you, porridge is good for you. Oats contain carbohydrates which are absorbed slowly, and this enhances the serotonin-producing abilities of your brain. Serotonin is your body’s own stress-relieving chemical. So if you know you’ll have a busy, high-pressure day, take a few moments to eat a bowl of porridge or muesli before you leave the house.

Oatmeal and a banana. Melatonin is found in only a few foods, and these are two of them. Eating a piece of whole grain toast stimulates insulin production in the pancreas, which then helps neural pathways get tryptophan to the brain more rapidly. This stimulates serotonin and helps induce sleepiness. According to clipmarks.com, oats are high in melatonin, and eating foods made with oats or oat bran can help you relax and fall asleep more readily.

Tuna Fish & Salmon keeps cortisol and adrenaline in check Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and they keep cortisol and adrenaline (another chemical your body produces when you’re under stress) in check. If you hate fish, you can buy capsules of omega-3, but fresh salmon is better for you. Eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids–salmon, mackerel, trout–can lower the likelihood of feelings of hostility by almost 20 percent.

Seafood is a stress buster because of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are some of the best sources of omega-3s. One study showed that substance abusers who took an omega-3 fatty acid supplement experienced less anxiety than those who didn’t. Omega-3s are also good for the heart and help to lower blood pressure – another bonus when it comes to health.

Dark chocolate.  Make sure it is atleast 70% cocoa because it is highest in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to fight cancer and heart disease. Get the berries and make fondue-that is sure to eliminate some stress in your life! A study showed that eating a small dark chocolate candy bar each day can lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, norephinephrine, and epinephrine which cause a person to feel nervous and anxious. It also alters the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain that play a role in controlling mood.

Raw honey.  Organic honey can help people calm down and fall asleep more easily. Raw honey is predigested in bees before it reaches our tables, so it’s easy to digest and packed with nutrients. It’s high in potassium, which neutralizes acids in the body, and assists naturally occurring tryptophan to relax the body. According to clipmarks.com, the glucose in honey can interfere with the function of another neurotransmitter in the brain called orexin, which keeps people alert, and so bring on profound relaxation. Don’t forget to share what you learned with some friends and family, it may help make their days a bit more relaxing!

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