Sunday, February 26, 2012

7 Soothing Foods and Calming Scents To Fight Stress

I read an article about this. According to psychologists, the part of the brain that processes smells is located very close to the part of the brain that stores emotions and memories. So…when you smell something you like you take deeper breaths. This lowers your blood pressure and your heart rate slows which results in relaxation.

Here are 7 scents and tastes the article claims will help fight stress.

1) The Scent Of Lavender
British researchers tested two groups at dental clinics. For one group they diffused lavender oil with a ceramic candle warmer at the start of the morning. With the second group they substituted water for the lavender oil. The group with the lavender oil reported significantly lower anxiety levels. Since the mere mention of the word dental usually creates stress, this should work well in normal situations.

2) The Scent Of Coconut
People who breathed in coconut fragrance saw their blood pressure recover more quickly after a challenging task. Researchers think inhaling pleasant scent enhances alertness while soothing response to stress. Of course, for those of us who don't like coconut...well, 'nuff said.  :)

3) The Scent Of Apple
If you like the smell of green apples, then embracing their aroma may help to alleviate headaches. Some people with chronic migraines found some pain relief after inhaling green apple fragrance at the start of a headache.

4) The Taste Of Tea
Drinking caffeinated black, green or oolong tea varieties may result in a more alert state of mind. Researchers think an amino acid in these teas may work synergistically with caffeine to improve attention and focus.

5) The Scent Of Peppermint
In a study, it was discovered that those who sniffed peppermint oil every two hours had a lower hunger level, experienced fewer cravings, and ate significantly less. The greatest effect comes from inhaling the scene, but peppermint gum, mints and flavored water also work to a lesser degree.

6) The Taste Of Carbohydrates
Eating carbohydrates can stimulate the release of serotonin, the brain's feel good chemical. Go for the whole grains which deliver more fiber and nutrients than refined grains.

And finally...the best for last.

7) The Taste Of Chocolate
It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that chocolate relieves stress. Or more specifically, dark chocolate. But be warned, chocolate does have a significant number of calories. Watch out because this could become a Catch-22 situation. You eat the chocolate to relieve stress, then you stress out because of all the calories so you eat more chocolate to relieve that added stress which causes more calorie related stress so you...

Well, you get the picture.  :)


Kellie Kamryn said...

All of those "smell" yummy! Think I'll go have a piece of chocolate & light a candle....

Great post!

Samantha Gentry said...

Kellie: Sounds like a great idea to me! Thanks for your comment.

Vonnie said...

That's interesting Samantha. I've never stopped to think before why I enjoy the smells of lavender and coconut.

Samantha Gentry said...

Hi, Vonnie: Yep...when it's something you enjoy (makes you feel good) it reduces your stress level. Thanks for commenting.