(Natural News) More and more people are suffering from the adverse side effects of stress, which is often caused by various factors such as unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, or poor sleep quality. If you’re always tired and stressed, try some of the natural remedies below.
Green tea and matcha
Black, green, matcha (powdered green tea), and white teas all contain L-theanine, an amino acid. A 100-gram serving of matcha tea contains 2.41 milligrams of L-theanine, about five times more than the usual black and green teas.
According to nutritionist Rick Hay, L-theanine can enhance sleep and help reduce anxiety and stress.
Data from a 2008 study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that L-theanine could increase alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves are brainwaves that promote relaxation, and increased levels can help maintain mental alertness and improve sleep quality, all without causing daytime sleepiness. (Related: Green tea eases stress and fatigue from overworking.)
Lavender and lemon balm tea
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, try drinking a cup of lavender or lemon balm tea.
Lavender is a pleasant-smelling flower that’s often used as an essential oil. It is also used to make a tea that can reduce stress and anxiety. Lavender tea can also help you sleep better, especially if you suffer from insomnia or sleep apnea.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, researchers observed 539 adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The researchers gave the participants 160 or 80 milligrams (mg) of lavender oil tablets orally or placebo once daily for ten weeks.
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Findings showed that the lavender oil had an antidepressant effect. The oil helped improve the general mental health and health-related quality of life of the volunteers. The researchers noted that 70 percent of the volunteers who took lavender oil achieved full remission of their anxiety while 85 percent got relief from their insomnia.
Lemon balm, a member of the mint family, is also used in fragrances, cooking, and herbal medicines. Lemon balm leaves are also brewed to make a fragrant tea.
Traditionally, lemon balm tea is used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia, gastric conditions, and migraines. Hay advised that drinking lemon balm tea one hour before bed can help you de-stress and relax. Lemon balm helps reduce both anxiety and stress by increasing Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), the feel-good neurotransmitter used by the nervous system.
Leafy greens, nuts, and seeds
Data suggests that the mineral magnesium can help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is behind the body’s stress response.
Boost your magnesium levels by consuming magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens (e.g., spinach and Swiss chard), nuts (e.g., almonds and cashews), and seeds (e.g., pumpkin seeds). Hay explained that magnesium helps reduce prolonged stress and improve sleep patterns.
Being always stressed can deplete your body of magnesium, which is linked to various chemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is also required for muscle relaxation and energy metabolism, a process that converts the food you eat into energy.
Positive neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin are regulated by magnesium. These neurotransmitters are essential for maintaining a stable mood. Hay said that magnesium is necessary for hormonal regulation and that it can help blood sugar balance and improve mood issues like anxiety and depression.
Data from a study in the journal PLoS One revealed that adults who received 248 mg of magnesium a day for six weeks reported significant improvement in their levels of anxiety and depression.
B vitamins are also crucial when it comes to stress relief. The chemical processes that take place in your body usually require B vitamins, and they have an essential role in the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters.
If you have low levels of B vitamins, you won’t produce adequate levels of serotonin and dopamine, the brain’s essential “feel-good” neurotransmitters. It is best to take B vitamins as a complex, but consuming foods full of B vitamins like chickpeas, eggs, kidney beans, lentils, pecan nuts, quinoa, salmon, spinach, tofu, and whole grains can also help.
Follow a nutritious diet and drink lavender or lemon balm tea to relieve stress naturally.