May 29, 2009

Too stressed? Take a walk, have an orange

Reducing stress is important because numerous studies have shown that people constantly stressed are more at risk of illness or disease, a U.S. expert says.

Bernadette Latson, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at University of Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says the best way to address stress, particularly for office workers, is to get away from the computer monitor and take a brief walk or stretch break.

Incorporating stress-fighting foods into your daily diet can also help, Latson advises.

A bowl of warm oatmeal will boost a calming brain chemical known as serotonin, while foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in check, Latson, a registered dietitian, says in a statement.

Other stress-fighting foods suggestions include:

-- A glass of skim or low-fat milk before bed can help reduce tension and anxiety.

-- Oranges, rich in vitamin C, strengthen the immune system and reduce stress hormone levels.