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eating-orange-flippedStressed?  Instead of going to your medicine cabinet for pharmaceutical relief, look in your kitchen cabinets for natural remedies.  If you reach for foods that help lower your stress levels, you’ll feel better, your hormone levels will be rebalanced and best of all, you won’t add excessive, empty calories to your diet.

Eating these five foods in times of high stress can help you relax naturally.

1.  Oranges

Having a difficult day?  Research shows that eating an orange can help return your blood pressure and stress hormone levels to normal.

2.  Apricots

Dried apricots contain a natural muscle relaxant, which may help ease the physical symptoms of stress.  Apricots also contain magnesium, which is a known stress reducer.

3.  Turkey

The same tryptophan that’s responsible for afternoon naps on the couch after a large holiday meal can also help you feel more relaxed.  To avoid feeling sleepy, keep your portion sizes reasonable.

4.  Salmon

Cortisol and adrenaline are two hormones that tend to spike when we’re feeling stressed.  Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in salmon and other fish, help, keep these stress hormones in check.

5.  Walnuts

High blood pressure is a common symptom of stress, and walnuts have been shown to help lower your blood pressure.  Pistachios also help regulate blood pressure while providing vitamins B and E.

If you want to maximize your stress relief, be sure to include exercise, meditation and taking deep, cleansing breaths for optimal renewal.

HealthKeepers Magazine December 2011