Reduce Stress: Eat Nuts

There are many foods on the market these days that claim to reduce stress and have a calming influence on the body, and nuts have for a long time been heralded as one of these foods.  They are readily available and handy to carry around with you, so they can be nibbled on throughout the day to help keep your metabolism ticking and to avoid sudden sugar cravings.

Nuts come in many varieties. They are packed with stress-busting ingredients that can help to make your day go a little smoother, as well as provide you with some valuable vitamins and minerals.

Zinc

Most nuts contain the mineral zinc, and zinc is one of the best minerals you can take to help reduce stress. It is important in the body’s metabolism of fatty acids and production of the ‘feel good’ chemical serotonin, and also helps to bolster the immune system, which can become weakened in times of stress. This will increase the body’s resistance to infection and help defend against illness.

The nuts highest in Zinc include brazil nuts, pine nuts, cashews, walnuts and pecans.

B Vitamins

Nuts contain a high amount of these vitamins, and they play a vital role in reducing stress. B vitamins help to reduce your blood pressure, and can get used up quite rapidly when you are under a lot of stress. B1 actively promotes a feeling of well-being, as well as improve nerve function in the body. Vitamin B6 is similar to zinc in it’s abilities to help regulate proper serotonin production. B5 is a great regulator of the adrenal glands, which controls the production of adrenaline in the body. B12 bolsters the central nervous system and again can help to actively improve your mood.

The best nuts to eat for all of these benefits are pine nuts, followed by walnuts, macadamias and almonds. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to improve the oxygenation of muscle tissue in the body, meaning that less oxygen intake is needed for the muscles to function properly. This is a great benefit for those on an exercise routine, and tests have shown that those who took Vitamin E while exercising showed a marked decrease in their blood pressure and improved weight loss. 

The vitamin is also effective at eliminating free radicals in the body, as well as protecting cells that can become damaged when stress hormones are released.

The best nuts to eat for Vitamin E are almonds, followed by walnuts, pecans and again, pine nuts.

It is true that some of the best foods to eat are generally the ones that are sourced directly from nature with minimal processing. It is important to remember that although nuts contain lots of nutritional benefits, they can also be high in fat and salt if they are processed and flavored. So, in order to get the most from them, always try and choose the unsalted versions, preferably as close to their natural form as possible.

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