To reduce stress: Foods with complex carbs (whole-grain cereals, breads and pasta, and warm oatmeal, for example) boost the calming brain chemical, serotonin. Spinach, soybeans and salmon have magnesium, which lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Spinach also has iron, a metabolism-supporting mineral. Black tea lowers cortisol levels following stressful situations (but coffee can raise them). Pistachios reduce the impact of stress hormones on the body by lowering blood pressure. The Vitamin E in almonds and Vitamin C in oranges (or orange juice) boost the immune system and reduce stress hormone levels, and the Vitamin B in almonds reduces stress. The calcium in a warm glass of milk reduces tension. To increase energy: Eat five smaller meals per day. Don't skip any meals, especially breakfast. Eat protein and carbs to raise your energy level mid-afternoon. And don't eat sugary snacks--the energy-boosting effects of sugar are short-lived.
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