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Top 7 Herbal Drinks For Effective Stress Management

Written by Rama Manikumar on Thu, 22 December 2022 — Fact checked by Dr. Lynda Odoh - Anikwe

Key Highlights

  • Stress can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity.
  • Both oxidative stress and psychological stress impact each other.
  • The brain is sensitive to oxidative damage.
  • Nigerian polyherbal tea reduces oxidative stress.
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Whenever you face something new like learning to drive, going skating, or speaking in front of a large audience, you normally are tense. You may sweat, have fear and be nervous. All these indicate that you are under stress.

Stress is your body’s reaction to changes or challenges. Our body is made to face stress and stress helps us be prepared for tough situations in life.

Some amount of stress is good for you since it helps you to stay alert and prevent danger. However, when stress stays for too long, it can have detrimental effects on your health.

When someone experiences stress for a prolonged period, he or she can develop various physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms that can affect their quality of life. It is therefore crucial

Stress-related health problems

Stress has both a physical and a psychological component. The way in which a person reacts to stress also influences the stress response.

Stress can worsen or increase the risk of numerous health problems like obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, accelerated aging, and premature death.

Oxidative stress

We eat different foods broken down by our body to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or a form of energy. This takes place in the mitochondria via the process of aerobic respiration.

As a by-product, it produces free radicals, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (RNS), carbon-centered, and sulfur-centered radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an unpaired number of electrons, which are highly reactive substances that can result in chain reactions. The overproduction of ROS and/or insufficiency of the antioxidant defense mechanisms leads to an imbalance called oxidative stress.

The brain is susceptible to oxidative damage and oxidative stress is implicated in several disorders of the brain including neurodegenerative disorders, psychiatric ailments, and anxiety.

Several studies have suggested a link between oxidative stress and certain anxiety disorders (obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder), demonstrating that oxidative metabolism, can affect the regulation of anxiety.

On the other hand, psychological stress can also increase the production of reactive oxygen species in our bodies. Thus, both oxidative stress and psychological stress impact each other.

Foods that reduce stress

Did you know, foods can do more than just provide us with the required nutrients and energy. They also help us beat stress! However, beware of unhealthy eating habits or overeating that can worsen your condition.

Many different types of foods can reduce your stress mainly since they contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation or inactivate the reactive oxygen species and thus prevent oxidative damage to the cells and body tissues.

The following foods can reduce stress:

  • Dark chocolate: Eating dark chocolate is no less than indulging in moments of pleasure. It is rich in antioxidants and helps you fight stress by lowering your stress hormones. You should opt for high-quality dark chocolate and eat it in moderation.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates can increase your serotonin levels that boost your mood and reduce stress. Make sure you choose healthy, unrefined carbohydrates like whole grains, brown rice, and sweet potatoes rather than bread, cakes, and cookies.
  • Avocados: These fruits are not only delicious but also offer omega-3-fatty acids, which are known to reduce stress and anxiety. They boost your concentration and improve your mood. Avocados contain phytochemicals, fiber, and many essential nutrients.

Foods that reduce oxidative stress

Drink These Seven Herbal Beverages To Relieve Oxidative Stress

Foods that reduce oxidative stress include foods that contain high levels of antioxidants such as berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry), cherries, citrus fruits like oranges, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, etc.

Dietary supplements of antioxidants include Vitamin C, E, green tea, garlic, turmeric, and so on.

Herbal drinks for oxidative stress

Herbs and plant-derived natural products are considered the oldest medications in the world. Herbal infusions are consumed in the Mediterranean region and even globally for their numerous benefits.

Herbal infusions are important sources of antioxidant agents and may be used to reduce oxidative stress and protect against life-threatening diseases like cancer.

Diverse phytochemicals are present in these infusions with the ability to activate different mechanisms involved in lowering oxidative stress and enhancing beneficial effects.

Many Nigerian plants are packed with antioxidants and can make up a refreshing herbal drink for reducing stress.

Try these herbal drinks that you can easily make or get in Nigeria to get relaxed and combat stress:

1. Nettle tea

Nettle tea is extracted from nettle plant leaves commonly known as stringing plant or Urtica dioica. Nettle tea leaves are also consumed in herbal drinks by soaking leaves in water to remove stringing properties from them.

It tastes similar to green tea and is rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, and carotenoids. It fights oxidative stress and neurological disorders. Have some nettle tea in your kettle!

2. Date palm juice

Both the fruit and the seed of date palm are equally beneficial for our health. They are rich in antioxidants like coumaric acid, ferulic acid, flavonoids, carotenoids, and anthocyanins.

Date palms also boost the constituents of blood like red blood cells, and hemoglobin. You can have date palm juice, and enjoy its sweet and relaxing flavor.

3. Beetroot juice

Beetroot is loaded with antioxidant compounds called betalains, the main being beta in out of them. The free radical scavenging ability of betanin in beetroot is nearly twice as high as some anthocyanins which are common antioxidants found in many natural foods.

Beetroot also contains a considerable amount of polyphenols and phenolics, a small quantity of folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which have been proven to the great antioxidant ability.

Apart from protecting the cells from oxidative stress, it has been found that beetroot also contributes to protecting cells from nitrative stress. So grab that rich, red-colored herbal drink.

4. Thyme tea

Thyme is a popular herb worldwide and is easily available in Nigeria. Thyme tea or tisane is a flavorful tea and is one of the most popular herbal teas in the world.

Its earthy flavors and loads of antioxidant activity make it a great choice for a healthy herbal drink. Its active ingredient, thymol, is a powerful antioxidant.

This powerful antioxidant activity can prevent diseases like vertigo, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis, shingles, etc. So choose thyme tea over your normal tea.

5. Nigerian polyherbal tonic tea (PHT)

Polyherbal tea is famous in Nigeria as a herbal drink to relax and refresh. This polyherbal tea is made from the pulverized leaves of Persea Americana or avocado, Morinda Lucida or brimstone tree, Mangifera indica or mango, Carica papaya or pawpaw, bitter leaf, and Cassia occidentalis or coffee weed, all combined in equal ratio.

This drink combines the antioxidant and immune-boosting properties of avocado, with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of mango, pawpaw, brimstone, bitter leaf, and coffee weed.

PHT treats pain, blood deficiencies, high blood pressure, diabetes, malaria, and fever, and improves blood circulation and immunity. Sip PHT to be stress-free!

Drink These Seven Herbal Beverages To Relieve Oxidative Stress

Conclusion

Stress is an integral part of our lives with all of us living in one of the busiest times in the world. Various factors contribute to stress.

Oxidative stress is a phenomenon in which the body has an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidative defenses which leads to an excess of free radicals in the body. These radicals are harmful and contribute to numerous diseases like cancer.

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Rama Manikumar

Rama is a nutritionist and a lifestyle consultant. Having worked in the health industry for more than 20 years, her expertise in health and well-being brings a fresh and healthy approach to everyday habits- food and lifestyle. She walks the talk and delivers excellent quality nutrition, and helps develop habits that peak health & Well- being. Rama Holds a Batchelor’s degree in Biology; Extended/Specialized degree in Nutrition & Dietetics (Pennsylvania State Univ. USA).

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