By: Poelano Malema
Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
It is caused by a variety of things including; anything that puts high demands on you, major life changes, financial problems, and relationship difficulties. The current state of events in South Africa is also leading to a lot of uncertainty.
Stress can lead to other health complications including; depression, weight problems, anxiety, sleep problems, and thinking and memory problems.
All of us will deal with stress at some point in our lives and it is important that you seek help from a professional when you feel overwhelmed and are struggling to cope.
Foods to help reduce stress
Dietitian Sylven Masoga says there is no specific food that can reduce stress, but it’s the ingredients contained in the food item that can help reduce stress.
“You need food that contains Vitamin C, such as grapes and oranges. That Vitamin C can destroy the free radicals which are usually released when a person is suffering from stress related oxidation,” says Masoga.
The dietitian recommends eating one orange a day or a bunch of grapes.
He also recommends eating foods that contain Vitamin A and Vitamin E.
An example of these foods are yellow vegetables (pumpkin, carrots, gem squash etc.).
“Vitamin A and Vitamin E containing foods will minimise the oxidation that will occur as a result of stress in your blood,” says the dietitian.
He adds: “The intake of Vitamin A and Vitamin E protects the lining of the cells inside your body so that they cannot be damaged by release of the free radicals.”
The dietitian recommends eating foods that contain lycopene, phytochemical, and resveratrol.
Examples of such foods are tomatoes, guava, green vegetables, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit, and the skin of the grapes, peanuts, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, pears, celery, and spinach.
The dietitian says such foods prevent the development of the free radicals.
He warns against eating foods that contain saturated fat and trans-fat.
Image courtesy of Pexels/ @Jane D