Foods that chill you out
Our close relative, the orangutan, is a fruit lover -- the tasty treats make up around 90% of its diet. And overall, the big O feasts on more than 400 varieties of plants. Maybe that's why they look so chill as they amble through the rainforest.
An Australian study in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that for middle-aged humans (ages 45-65), eating about 16.5 ounces of fruits and vegetables helps them amble too! Seems eating like that reduces your stressed-out-ness by at least 10% -- enough to make you feel substantially better.
The researchers theorize that vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids in fruits and vegetables reduce body-wide inflammation and oxidative stress. Inflammation is known to be related to mental health through disruption of your gut biome and through increased levels of stress hormones (they disrupt the gut and the brain). Runaway oxidation is essentially rusting your bodily systems, increasing risks for cancer and arthritis, for example, and amplifying stress responses.
So what do you have to eat to get 16.5 ounces of fruits and veggies a day? Not that much. An average apple weighs about 6.4 ounces. Two cups of spinach leaves equal a bit over 2 ounces. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a banana averages around 4 ounces, and one and a half cups of broccoli florets equals about 4 ounces. That's it!
Making sure you eat at least that much shouldn't stress you out. Once you get that down we recommend you relax into two to four more servings of fruits and veggies daily.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.