There are many simple steps that a person can take to reduce stress that require very little time or effort–and eating blueberries is one of the easiest.
Why The Blueberry?
While there are many stress-busting foods out there, blueberries are one of the best. They are generally available all year long in the produce department of the local grocery and are also available in the frozen section.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which makes them a super fruit. Antioxidants have been shown to be effective in protecting cells against free radicals, which can lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are produced in the body by the foods that are consumed as well as the environment. Antioxidants help repair the damage that they cause, as well as prevent further damage.
Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C, one of the antioxidants responsible for relieving stress. Vitamin C fights free radicals, keeping the body healthy and able to fight the build up of stress. One cup of fresh blueberries has almost 25% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, making them a top choice as a stress buster.
Vitamin C Facts
Vitamin C has been shown in studies to decrease stress levels and the psychological and physical effects of stress. Higher levels of vitamin C in the body can help people deal with stressful challenges as well as aid in a faster recovery from stress than those who have lower levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C can reduce blood pressure levels and keep cortisol levels from rising, keeping the effects of stress on the body at a minimum. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced when stress occurs, allowing the body to take action against danger, but high levels can cause the body and mind to break down.
Vitamin C can also fight against the common cold, keeping the body in good health to face day-to-day responsibilities.
Blueberries are a versatile fruit. They can be consumed fresh with just a simple rinsing with water. Bursting with sweetness, there is usually little or nothing that needs to be added to blueberries to give them more flavor. Frozen blueberries can be thawed quickly by putting them on a flat surface in single layers.
Additional snack options for blueberries include adding them to a frozen smoothie recipe or drying them out through dehydration techniques. Blueberries can be baked in pies and muffins for a more filling snack, but are usually healthiest when eaten plain. Each handful of blueberries supplies your body with the vitamin C it needs to face the challenges of the day.
An added bonus of blueberries is that they can help slow down the aging process on the body. Stress breaks down the body, aging it faster than it would naturally. Blueberries help fight the stress that leads to faster aging.