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5 foods to lower stress

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – According to the American Institute of Stress, 44 percent of Americans feel more stressed now than they did five years ago. And one in five Americans experience extreme stress.

To help ease your anxiety, consider changing your diet. Here are five foods that fight stress.

Salmon contains omega-three fatty acids that could counteract the effect of stress hormones in the body. 

In one study, medical students who took omega-three supplements had a 20 percent reduction in anxiety.

Berries are rich in vitamin C which can fight stress. German researchers found participants who had been given vitamin C before having to give a speech or solve difficult math problems had lower levels of blood pressure and stress hormones.

Leafy greens can increase levels of serotonin in the body; it’s the chemical that’s linked to mood. Cashews contain zinc. Low levels of zinc have been linked to anxiety and depression.

And of course you’ll need chocolate if you’re stressed! Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure, which helps you feel more calm. Be sure to buy kinds that contain at least 70 percent cocoa.

If you feel like you eat more when you’re stressed, you’re probably right. Stress increases the hormone cortisol, which can boost appetite. Researchers report 40 percent of stressed people overeat or eat unhealthy foods.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor; Gabriella Battistiol, News Assistant.