6 foods proven to help reduce stress levels

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How do avocado pears help with digestive health?
How do avocado pears help with digestive health?
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Managing stress is more than self-care; what you feed your body plays a significant role in how you'll feel. A nutritionist weighs in on how certain foods can reduce your stress levels when included in your diet.

Elizabeth Stewart, registered associate nutritionist at Vitl, has recommendations on foods that can help reduce the strain and boost overall health.

1. Garlic

An excellent source of Vitamin B6, it is packed with vitamin c and other minerals like calcium, potassium, iron and copper. The Sulphur compounds in garlic help increase glutathione levels in the body - the antioxidant that helps form your body's first line of defence against oxidative stress.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C. A study shows that vitamin C may help reduce stress hormones found in the blood. It also helps to keep the adrenal glands from becoming overly enlarged.

3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas are rich in Vitamin B6 and are excellent for the manufacture of serotonin - a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells that are believed to act as a mood stabiliser.

4. Dark chocolate

Rich in magnesium with approximately 64mg in 28g bar. In a 2014 study, researchers found that consuming 40g of dark chocolate over two weeks was an effective way to reduce perceived stress in women.

5. Avocado

Avocado is rich in B vitamins. The fatty acids are necessary to produce the adrenal glands' hormones.

6. Greek yoghurt

Greek yoghurt is a great source of probiotics that look after the gut. The gut microbiome influences your body's reactions as it's linked to your brain through the vagus nerve, which speaks to your enteric nervous system.

*Additional information compiled by Tauhira Dean, Health24

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