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6 Foods To Eat & 6 To Avoid If You Want To Feel Less Stressed

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Well it's almost finals...and you know what that means...

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And maybe some of this..

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But mostly this..

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And if you're feeling the same way, you probably want some hope right?

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1. First, eggs: These guys are rich in protein which keep your energy up for more of the day and contain tyrosine.

2. Kale: Lots of minerals and even more tyrosine.

3. Red beets: They have betaine which is an antidepressant that keeps your dopamine levels high making you feel happier and it also has tyrosine.

4. Apples: Contain quercetin which prevents neurodegeneration to keep you brain strong and your dopamine levels high.

5. Fish: Chock full of Omega 3 fats which help you keep up your normal metabolism.

6. Last but not least, bananas: Full of tyrosine.

Now you may be wondering What in the world is tyrosine?

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Well don't you worry!

Tyrosine is an amino acid (a building block of a protein) that plays a role in the synthesis of dopamine. Tryrosine catalyzes a change in the shape of the molecule of dopamine which allows it to then play a role in the neuro-pathways of the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that is released in the brain and transmits signals in the brain by causing waves of electricity to pass through the network of neurons in your head. Dopamine affects your attention, learning, social interaction, emotions, and your ability to feel either pressure or pain.

When people take drugs such as cocaine, they tend to feel "good" or "happy" which is a direct result of dopamine. When the body takes in cocaine, it travels through your blood to your brain where it blocks transporters that are supposed to carry and disperse dopamine throughout the brain. When this blockage happens, dopamine becomes concentrated in one region creating a surge in dopamine levels. This surge causes the feelings of happiness, pleasure, and satisfaction. Without dopamine, or at low levels, we would feel the opposite and fall into more of a depressed state.

[If you want to go into some deeper biology, HMU]

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1. First, fat-free yogurt: Contains almost no probiotic bacteria which means that your gut and cortisol levels aren't improving.

2. Bread w/o fiber: These carbs are digested quickly so they don't help you keep up your energy, instead, they cause a spike in blood sugar and cortisol. (They can also cause stomach problems and inflammation, ew).

3. Fruit juice: Fruit itself is fine but in juice form, not so much. Juice lacks fiber which causes high blood sugar, lots of insulin, and elevated cortisol.

4. Trans-fats: Raise cortisol, increase risk of depression, affect regulation of hormones, and aggressive behavior.

5. Coffee: Even though it's a favorite of most, you might want to watch your intake because coffee causes spikes in adrenaline that may help you stay awake but it also can cause jitters, elevated heart rate, tension, and stress in order to keep you alert.

6. Factory-Farm Beef: This has more omega-6 fats which increase inflammation, saturated fats that affect cholesterol, and ruins your cortisol balance.

Now for the fun stuff: What the heck is Cortisol?

Well...Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenal=adrenaline? Yes, it is similar to adrenaline which is also produced by the adrenal glands that is more widely known and causes flight or fight reaction that are identified by an increased heart rate, tense muscles, altered blood flow pathways, and alertness. YOLO. Cotisol is a little different because it takes a little longer to be processed in the body. This steroid can suppress your immune system, increase blood pressure, decrease libido, increase risk of obesity, acne, etc. Even more important i =s that it can also affect estrogen, testosterone, dopamine, and serotonin.

More in-depth look:

(Amygdala highlighted in pink)

For those of you dying to know more, a part of the brain known as the amydgala which is responsible for how we react and store memories can send messages to the hypothalamus which regulates a lot of autonomic functions in our body (like breathing, temperature, etc.), especially hormones. The hypothalamus can release CRH which sends a message to the anterior-pituitary (hormones releases and producing off-shoot of the hypothalamus) to release ACTH which acts on the adrenal glands. These glands will release cortisol when they receive this signal in order to maintain balance, blood pressure, growth, digestion, etc. But, when there too much feedback telling the glands to keep sending out more cortisol (which certain foods can promote), this is problematic because we now have an overabundance not optimal amount of this steroid.

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