For decades, and centuries even, tea has been anecdotally touted for its stress-relieving benefits. But now, science has actually proven that this is true and not just something people say. While some believe it is the ritual of making tea that is cathartic and helps calm people down, tea also contains an amino acid, L-theanine, which has been proven to aid in stress relief. A study conducted in the early 2000s also showed that drinking tea can help lower cortisol levels and generally results in greater relaxation. The tests also showed that participants had reduced platelet activation, which helps with inflammation in the body. Of course, there has been even more research conducted that proves how certain foods can help people feel better. Thus, it makes sense that pairing such foods with tea can have an even greater effect on a person’s stress levels.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the causes of stress today and offer insights into how adding certain foods and teas into your diet can help you achieve greater relaxation in your life.
Stressed Out? You’re Not Alone
Stress is certainly nothing new, but it does seem that people tend to be more stressed today than ever before. So if you too are feeling a little on edge, you’re not alone. In fact, research has shown that people are much more stressed today than they were compared to just 30 years ago in the 90s, with the most affected group being middle-aged people. But overall, every age group tested showed an increase in stress. So what is causing all this stress?
There isn’t one thing but rather a combination of various factors, such as more lopsided distributions between the rich and the poor, the increased focus on the digital environment, and political upheavals. There is also the fact that work stress tends to be worse as more people today have more demanding careers in high-pressure industries.
Industries from construction and healthcare to finance and marketing all report employees experiencing higher stress levels these days due to longer working hours, higher expectations, more demanding tasks, and strained working conditions. Of course, there are many things that people can do to alleviate these stressors, such as striving for a better work-life balance, utilizing automated tools to reduce their workload, seeking support from friends and family, and prioritizing self-care. But adopting healthier habits can also help, like eating more nutritional foods and drinking tea that helps combat burnout and promotes stress relief.
What Teas and Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet For a Calmer You?
There are elements that exist in both foods and teas that can boost health and promote overall well-being to help alleviate stress. For example, berries in teas and foods provide antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals. Nuts, which can also be found in some tea blends, can help fight stress-inducing inflammation. Even foods and teas with whole grains can help alleviate anxiety and maintain blood sugar levels for a happier and healthier you.
There are also certain herbs that can be used in both foods and teas to aid in relaxing the body. Lavender, for example, has soothing properties that aid in relaxing the mind and body, which can help you sleep better. Peppermint contains menthol and camphor, which help relieve muscle tension. And chamomile has been shown to boost antigens that promote relaxation in neurotransmitters.
Other foods to consider that can help de-stress and enhance tea-drinking benefits include:
● Fermented foods: Help reduce inflammation which can reduce cortisol levels
● Omega-3 fatty acids: Also aid in reducing inflammation
● Milk: Has tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin
● Avocados: Loaded with potassium, which helps lower blood pressure
● Dark chocolate: Another food that can help lower cortisol by reducing inflammation
The added benefit is that many of these — such as dark chocolate and fish containing omega-3s — are also foods that boost your immune system. What’s more, green tea figures prominently on the list of immune boosters. Some of these stress-reducing, immunity-inducing foods can be enjoyed as part of a meal that you eat alongside a cup of tea, and some of them can be used as ingredients in your tea, such as chocolate, milk, and even omega-3 oil.
Your Kitchen’s Organizational Setup Might Also Be the Problem
It’s worth pointing out that the state of your kitchen can also be contributing to your stress levels. A messy, disorganized home as a whole can make you feel more stressed, but a messy kitchen is potentially the worst. When your kitchen is disorganized, it makes it harder for you to keep track of what foods you have. You also might want to spend as little time in your kitchen as possible if it isn’t neat and tidy, which means you’ll be less likely to spend time whisking up healthy meals or enjoying your tea ritual.
Even how you store your foods and teas can play a role in how you feel. Food storage methods can affect the flavor and quality of your foods and teas. So, if you don’t have good storage, it could be impacting what things you are choosing to eat. Overall, when you have a more organized kitchen, you will feel better about spending time in your kitchen preparing healthier foods and teas to consume. Some tips for better storage
● Keep perishables well-wrapped to keep them fresh
● Pay close attention to expiration dates on non-perishables and keep things that need to
be used sooner upfront
● Ensure items are not crammed together to allow for proper air circulation
● Store dry items like herbs, teas, and grains in cool, dark, and dry environments
● Store food away from direct sunlight as much as possible
● Uses containers that create an airtight seal to maintain freshness
● Opt for foil, metal, glass, and wax paper, as these are best for ensuring foods stay fresh and flavorful for longer
There are many ways that you can seek to alleviate stress in your life, but adopting a healthier diet full of nutritious foods and teas is perhaps the most beneficial. Eating healthy foods and drinking healthy teas not only reduces stress and helps you feel calmer, but certain ingredients can also help with a number of other health concerns, ensuring you maintain a healthier mind and body as a whole.