Eating healthy food though, generally, is not everyone’s idea of beating stress. Who would feel calm chewing down carrot sticks? But good news, folks! Eating healthy and reducing stress need not taste bland. Did you know that tasty Italian food and Indian food can help reduce stress? Tomatoes and spinach, for example, are staples in Italian. These two ingredients are recommended for those who are experiencing high levels of stress. Curry, too, a staple in Indian food, is highly recommended for those who just need to calm down and relax after a stressful day.
How so? Find out below!
Tomatoes have been central to Italian food and cuisine. Tomatoes are used as a base for dressings and sauces. Can you imagine pizza and pasta without tomato sauce?
A study from the Journal of Affective Disorders show that people who consume tomatoes two to six times a week had a 46 percent lower chances of developing depression than people who eat tomatoes less than once a week. The research also noted how their participants who ate tomato products daily can reduce the chances of depression by 52 percent.
How do tomatoes then help reduce depression and stress?
Tomatoes have lycopene. Lycopene has been associated with helping lower the risk of prostate cancer and heart attacks. But other than that, researchers noted that lycopene may also help protect physical and mental health by decreasing oxidative stress.
Vegetables may not be on everyone’s list of comfort foods so if you are to choose one leafy green to chow down on, make it Spinach. Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps regulate cortisol levels. One cup of Spinach is enough to reach 40 percent of your magnesium quota.
In terms of reducing stress levels, research conducted by Mylarappa B. Ningappa et al. at Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, Molecular Parasitology and Protein Engineering Laboratory in Bengaluru, India noted that the presence of various vitamins like vitamin A, B, C and E in curry leaves can help in reducing oxidative stress and free radical scavenging activity.