diet and nutrition

Benefits of Taking Omega 3 and Vitamin E Together

Taking fish oil supplements increases your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which your body cannot make on its own. While vitamin E functions as an antioxidant to protect your cells from damage. Because fish oil and vitamin E have several physiological actions that are identical or complementary, taking them together provides several health benefits. According to some researchers, consuming vitamin E together with fish oil may provide additional benefits.

Properties of Omega 3

Fish oil supplements are made from fish that have a high-fat content naturally. Mackerel, tuna, herring, salmon, and cod are among them. While fish oil is used to treat a variety of ailments, it has been shown to reduce excessive triglycerides. Triglyceride levels that are too high can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, are two significant omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil. DHA and EPA can both improve quality of life by boosting mood and cognitive function, as well as lowering the chance of premature death, according to a survey.

Properties of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contribute to the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E is abundant in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. It has demonstrated the ability to prevent low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol, from oxidising, or becoming electrically unstable due to the loss of electrons, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. This could be critical in preventing atherosclerosis, a disorder marked by artery hardening and narrowing that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Benefits of Vitamin E and Omega 3 Combination 

When taken together, vitamin E and omega 3 help you in following ways:

1. Improving Skin Texture

Fish oil and vitamin E act together to improve skin health. 

  1. Because omega-3 fatty acids reduce premature ageing and damage to collagen, which is degraded by the sun’s damaging rays, they help protect your skin from sun damage. 
  2. Fish oil lipids also have an anti-inflammatory effect on your skin, which can help relieve redness and irritation. 
  3. Vitamin E, like fish oil, protects against UV damage by neutralising harmful free radicals produced due to sun exposure. 
  4. Vitamin E also aids in wound healing.

2. Improving Neurological Function

Taking fish oil and vitamin E can aid in brain health. 

  1. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are useful for your brain as they form part of the membranes of your brain cells. 
  2. Vitamin E in your brain helps protect these cell membranes because its antioxidant function protects the fat in your cell membrane from hazardous oxidation and damage. 
  3. Adequate quantities of omega-3 fatty acids boost brain function, however, low levels can hinder learning. 
  4. Vitamin E has an effect on cognitive function as well; low levels have been linked to poor memory.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Taking fish oil and vitamin E together helps reduce inflammation levels in the body and both vitamins assist to fight inflammation.

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the production of inflammatory molecules such as eicosanoids thereby preventing inflammation in the body.  Having more omega-3 fatty acids in your system reduces overall inflammation. 
  2. Vitamin E reduces inflammation by decreasing the amount of pro-inflammatory substances in your system and its antioxidant action protects cells from damage that might otherwise cause inflammation.

Risk of Taking Vitamin E and Omega 3 Together

While taking vitamin E pills with fish oil may have certain advantages, it also has some drawbacks. Because both fish oil and vitamin E can raise the risk of bleeding, people who are taking blood thinners or have a high risk of bleeding should avoid taking them together. For those who are 14 and older, the recommended daily requirement for vitamin E is 15 milligrams, with a tolerated upper limit of 1,000 milligrams for those who are 19 and older, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Higher doses, on the other hand, may raise the risk of bleeding.

Conclusion

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is commonly used for its anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. Omega-3 fatty acids are a form of unsaturated fat that is consumed mostly for its benefits to cardiovascular health and a variety of medical ailments. While both are harmless if ingested in little amounts, such as those seen in a typical meal, they can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. Before you start taking omega 3 and vitamin E together, consult your doctor. Your doctor can decide if you require supplements and recommend a safe dose.

Effects of Sugar on the Brain You Might Not Know About

Negative Effects of Sugar on the Brain
Why Do We Crave Sugar if It is Bad for Us
How to Manage Sugar Consumption
Conclusion

We have often heard of the harmful effects of consuming sugar excessively. It impacts every part of the body. When the glucose level in the blood is elevated, it has an adverse effect on your overall body function. Did you know that there are several harmful effects of sugar on the brain? Sugar impacts your cognitive abilities and may even impair your memory. Here is everything you need to know about the effects of high blood sugar on the brain and how you can control your sugar intake. 

Negative Effects of Sugar on the Brain 

The human brain is one of the most energy-demanding organs in the body. It has so many neurons that require a consistent energy supply that it uses 50% of all the energy produced by assimilating sugar. In fact, when you have low glucose levels in the bloodstream, it can cause a breakdown in communication between the neurons. This leads to poor cognitive function and attention. 

While the brain depends on sugar for proper function, excessive sugar is also a bad thing. A study conducted by the University of Montreal in 2009 showed that excessive glucose consumption is directly linked to cognitive deficiency and memory loss. This impact of sugar is due to overstimulation of the brain, causing mood swings and other issues. Here are some harmful effects of high blood sugar on brain: 

1. Memory Difficulties 

If you or someone you know deals with diabetes, then you should know that one of the most common diabetes effects on the brain is the disruption in memory. When the sugar level in the blood is higher than the normal amount, it leads to inflammation in the brain. This is known to cause issues with memory. A study published in 2016 in ‘Behavioural Brain Research,’ showed that rats that were given a high sugar diet showed inflammatory markers in the brain. This was absent in rats that were given a standard diet. This effect, luckily, is not permanent. The inflammation can be reduced by using Omega-3 supplements and reducing daily sugar intake. 

2. It Affects Your Mood

Excessive sugar consumption is related to mood swings. Brain imaging studies have revealed that high blood glucose levels reduce our ability to process emotion. One of the effects of sugar on the brain is feelings of anxiety and sadness. 

A study conducted on over 20,000 individuals linked depression with sugar consumption. It showed that higher sugar consumption increased the incidence of depression. Studies have also shown that people with higher levels of sugar consumption are more likely to be diagnosed with mental disorders than those who consume less sugar. 

3. It Impairs Cognitive Function 

Elevated blood sugar for long periods is known to cause learning issues, impaired motor speed, memory loss, and other cognitive issues. It has also been observed that test scores are lower in individuals who tend to consume more sugar. 

These effects of sugar on the brain are linked to the damage caused to the blood vessels. Long term uncontrolled high blood sugar level causes vascular complications that can damage the blood vessels in our brain. It might also lead to shrinkage in the size of the brain, reducing your overall cognitive abilities. 

There is also some evidence that suggests that high sugar intake reduces the production of Brain-Derived Neuropathic Factor or BDNF. This is a type of chemical in the brain that is essential for learning and the formation of new memories. In individuals with Alzheimer’s, low BDNF levels are often observed. 

Why Do We Crave Sugar if It is Bad for Us? 

Even though we understand the harmful effects of sugar on our health, we crave sugar. The brain is wired to crave sugar-rich foods because they are an instant energy source. There are other causes for this: 

  • The dopamine ‘hit’: Since sugary foods are the best energy sources, humans have evolved to find these foods more pleasurable. Our brain has an innate need for sugar in order to maximise our chances of survival. Our brain’s reward system gets activated whenever we eat sugar, thus, releasing dopamine. This is a feel-good neurotransmitter that makes us repeatedly crave sweet foods.  
  • Sugar rewires the brain: The brain learns and modifies itself constantly through neuroplasticity. Since sugary foods activate the reward system, we begin to adapt to higher levels of stimulation. It also causes tolerance which means that we need more each time to experience that reward. 

Therefore, when it is uncontrolled, sugar can be addictive. So, it is imperative for us to watch our sugar consumption. 

How to Manage Sugar Consumption? 

While sugar is necessary for the brain to function, its consumption must be moderate. According to the World Health Organisation, it is best to limit sugar intake to about 5% of the daily calorie intake. This is roughly six teaspoons for a healthy adult. Here are some tips to reduce consumption and the harmful effects of sugar on the brain

  1. Consider sources like fruits which are free from refined sugar. 
  2. Instead of drastically cutting down on sugar, reduce it slowly. The brain can learn and reset itself to function on moderate sugar consumption. 
  3. Physical exercise makes it easier for the brain to adapt to the reduced sugar intake. 
  4. Foods rich in Omega-3 are highly beneficial in boosting the brain chemicals required for various cognitive functions. 
  5. Eating fibre-rich foods gives you a source of sugar but also keeps you feeling fuller for longer, reducing cravings considerably. 

Conclusion 

While it is not easy to cut down on your favourite desserts or sweets, the effects of sugar on the brain are a reason enough to keep you motivated. You will begin to see the difference as you commit to consuming a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet.

Should You Cut Down on Salt in Diet During Summer?

Why is Salt Important
What are the Negative Side Effects of Excess Sodium
How to Reduce Your Salt Intake
Conclusion

With hot temperatures and irritating sweat, summer months demand a whole new routine to keep yourself fit. Due to conditions that cause excessive perspiration, the sodium levels of the body can drop. In general, most individuals have the right amounts of sodium in their body, if not excessive. On average, our diets contain high amounts of salt which can be bad for our health when not adjusted. However, during summers, people may add more salt in diet to make up for the sodium filtered out through perspiration. But does having more salt during summers actually cause more harm than good?

Why is Salt Important?

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, consists of 40% sodium and 60% chloride.  These are two essential minerals required by the body. While chloride helps sodium regulate the water content and electrolyte balance in the body, sodium plays many more roles. An essential for muscle and nerve functioning, sodium helps the body absorb specific essential nutrients and maintain water balance in the body.

Salt is a food preservative and is also used as a binder and stabiliser. However, the human body only needs a small amount to carry out its functions. You may crave salt during the summers but that is mainly due to dehydration. During hot weather, a little extra amount of salt might be required but consuming extra salt does not do much for the body. Despite excessive perspiration, the human body is able to replenish the salt levels with the salt absorbed from meals.  

What are the Negative Side Effects of Excess Sodium?

As essential as sodium is for our body, modern day diets contain too much of it. An excessive intake of salt can cause numerous negative effects on the body. Some of them are listed below:

1. Water Retention

Consuming high amounts of sodium may make your body retain excess amounts of water. The kidneys must hold a specific water-to-sodium ratio, which is why they retain excess water to balance out the sodium levels. Water retention may make you feel bloated at first, and later may result in swelling in your hands and feet.

2. Increased Thirst

A salty meal can make your mouth feel dry and this triggers intense thirst. This is another way your body signals you to maintain its water-to-sodium ratio. 

3. Increased Blood Pressure

Sodium is mainly present in our body’s bloodstream and is known to attract water. A salty meal may also trigger large amounts of blood to flow through your blood vessels, increasing the workload of the heart and may stiffen blood vessels causing an increase in blood pressure

4. May Increase Risk of Stomach Cancer

Several studies have linked excess salt consumption over a prolonged period of time with an increased risk of stomach cancer. A study conducted suggested that out of 268,000 subjects, those with an average daily salt intake of 3g may be 68% more susceptible to stomach cancer.

5. May Affect Heart Health

Studies have suggested that excessive salt consumption may cause stress on the heart by increasing the blood pressure and stiffening the arteries and blood vessels. These developments in the cardiovascular system may make the patient more susceptible to heart disease and premature death.   

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake?

According to the National Health Service (NHS), England, the recommended daily salt consumption is 6g or one teaspoon. However, much of the salt we eat is added to ordinary items like bread, morning cereal, and prepared meals. Simply opting for a no salt diet is an easy approach to eating less salt. Food without salt may seem terrible but vegetables, meat, and fish already contain natural salts. Other flavourings, such as herbs, spices, or balsamic vinegar, might be added to enhance the flavour. However, a no salt diet is only one half of the solution. To truly have a salt-free diet, choose low salt foods and be mindful of the nutritional information of the pre-packed products you buy on a regular basis and pick those with lower salt content per 100g.

  1. Products with more than 1.5g salt per 100g have high salt content.
  2. Products with 0.3g salt or less per 100g have low salt content.
  3. Products with salt contents between 0.3g and 1.5g per 100g have a medium level of salt content.

Conclusion

Though summers make us sweat excessively, we know that our body is capable of taking care of its necessities with just a little extra amount of salt. As such, consuming extra salt in diet during the summers does not benefit us too much but excessive salt may cause problems like heart disease and increased blood pressure. When dealing with hot days, a good amount of hydration and an occasional snack keeps you going perfectly well and keeps the water-to-sodium levels in your body balanced.

Appetite Loss in Summer: Is It Normal?

Indian summers are globally famous for being absolutely dreadful, especially from May. But this year, the heatwaves began early from March itself. Apart from the obvious problems of the higher electricity bills, various skin problems, and running out of water, there is one very much overlooked problem that can potentially lead to a poor quality of life in the long run during summers. Reduced appetite or even appetite loss is a very normal phenomenon in scorching summers as we tend to gravitate towards liquids, especially our favourite chilled drinks, be it fruit juice, soft drinks, or mocktails. Though it is perfectly alright to forego a solid meal in favour of a gratifying, healthy, fruity drink once in a while, it is definitely difficult and unhealthy to reduce food intake or skip whole meals because of loss of appetite.

Loss of Appetite Causes 

You may not believe this but researchers have been pondering the loss of appetite causes since way back in the ‘90s and all the evidence till date points to the concept of ‘thermoregulation’ or body heat regulation. The basic science behind decreased appetite is that we eat food to derive energy from it. So, the process of digestion of food releases a lot of energy, naturally. But, this energy is mostly released as heat. 

The chemical energy stored in food can be converted to other forms of energy when it gets stored as glycogen and fat in our body. The body uses this energy to sustain by converting the chemical energy to mechanical energy when we use our muscles and also to heat or thermal energy as and when we need to keep ourselves warm. This process is ‘thermogenesis’ and therefore, digestion of food is overall a ‘thermogenic’ or a heat-producing process.

Our appetite, thirst and body temperatures are controlled by a specialised centre in our brain known as hypothalamus. Notably, hypothalamus decides when our body temperature is high enough to be able to sustain itself with a lower food intake, thereby decreasing appetite and increasing thirst as it prioritises body hydration and sweating the heat out instead of eating food to generate more heat.

What to Do Then?

Nothing, apparently! As far as medical opinion is concerned, it is perfectly alright to eat less and drink more fluids in summers. The loss of appetite is simply your body signalling you about what it needs. Come monsoon, you will be back to craving your steaming idlis or chutney-laden samosas.

But then again, there are a few offerings from Mother Nature which are specially designed to generate an overall less amount of body heat and keep us hydrated during summers. These are summer foods, perfect for surviving heatwaves:

  1. Salads 

Cucumbers and tomatoes are almost completely water. They are rich in antioxidants and fibres and have a low calorie count. So, they do not raise our body temperature post-meal.

  1. Fresh Juices 

Fruits are approximately 50-80% water and are rich in fibres and antioxidants. Also, sugars in fruits are mostly fructose with little glucose. Therefore, post-meal sugar spikes are less likely as fructose is easily broken down in our body, making fruits good for diabetics too.

  1. Lemon Barley Water 

Lemon barley water can be taken (upto two glasses a day) every morning and evening. It helps in controlling our appetite. And, since it is rich in fibres, it also helps prevent constipation. This regulates our appetite and reduces our calorie intake, consequently reducing our core body temperature.

  1. Rice and Beans 

One of the most underrated food items that offers a nice blend of carbohydrates and proteins. Rice and beans are easy to make and can be eaten cold as well. No matter how you choose to eat it, on a hot day, it is a lighter meal.

Conclusion

Appetite loss is a very normal phenomenon in summers and is simply your body’s signal to you and mostly needs little to no intervention as things eventually go back to normal with the inevitable season change. However, in case of persistent low appetite, there is an alternative of summer foods that are not only almost equally tasty as your regular food but also scientifically proven to generate overall less heat in your body.

Summers can be scorching, especially in a tropical country like India. But with a few well-informed and practical diet and lifestyle changes, you will be able to beat the heat easily!

Health Benefits of Spices for Summers

Spices are an integral part of cooking. They supercharge the food with flavour and texture. To top it up, the health benefits of spices are galore! But did you know that not all spices are ideal for use in the summer season? Spices may be classified as heating or cooling depending upon whether they generate heat during digestion. Too much heat generation may lead to skin irritation, rashes, acne outbreak, excessive sweating, and heatstroke in severe cases. 

Thankfully, there is a category of spices that helps to keep the body cool during summers. Known as the summer spices, they are a must-have in the summer diets. Read through to know the healthy spices to use in summers.

Healthy Spices for Summer 

Some spices are cooling in nature. They help the body by conferring a cooling effect. They keep the internal body temperature low and make the body feel comfortable and refreshed even in the scorching heat. 

Surprisingly, a few body-warming spices are also considered healthy in summers. The body-warming spices raise body temperature during the digestion process. This makes the body sweat out a lot quicker which helps in cooling down the body faster. Let’s read more about the health benefits of spices and their cooling and body warming classifications.

Body Cooling Spices for Summers

Listed below are some of the healthy spices that leave a cooling effect during the digestive process:

1. Mint 

Mint is particularly revered for its cooling sensation. It is usable in both fresh and dried forms and makes for an active ingredient in many foods and beverages. Often used in small quantities, it is a rich source of micronutrients. The antioxidants present in mint protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Mint is especially helpful in summers as it helps improve the digestive disorders typically common in the hot weather season. 

Thus, ingestion of mint helps soothe upset stomach and indigestion. The powerful aroma of mint also keeps the brain active and alert. As it keeps lethargy at bay, this helps in improving memory retention. The antibacterial properties of mint help combat infections. This also makes it a powerful agent to mask bad breath.

2. Fennel Seeds 

Commonly known as saunf, it is best used as a mouth freshener at the end of every meal. But thanks to its cooling effect, it is an extremely useful spice in the hot summer season. 

Furthermore, packed with Vitamin C, it helps reduce inflammation caused due to heat. Fennel seeds are also known to stimulate the production of digestive juices which aid in proper digestion, reducing acid reflux. It is also an established way to improve gut health in summer as it provides instant relief from the summer heat. 

3. Cumin Seeds 

Cumin seeds are a wonder spice when it comes to coping with the hot summer sun. Ideal spice to cool the body system, it works by keeping the body hydrated. This helps in preventing heat strokes. 

Cumin seeds are among the healthy spices that work as an effective cure for flatulence and stomach bloating. Ingestion of cumin seeds makes the body feel lighter. Cumin seeds also help in the detoxification of the body. Although whole cumin seeds are used in a range of recipes, add grounded cumin seeds powder to buttermilk to get ‘super cool’ in this hot summer season.

4. Amchur 

Amchur is a ‘super cooler’ to use in summers. Made from raw mangoes, amchur is savoured for its tangy taste. It is rich in vitamins and beta-carotene, which detoxifies the body by eliminating body toxins. 

Regular use of amchur in summers reduces acidity and boosts digestion. It is a great way to ensure timely bowel movements. Amchur has high amounts of vitamin C which help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals. Amchur helps balance hormonal changes in pregnant women. As amchur helps increase metabolism, it also aids in weight loss. 

5. Coriander

Interestingly, coriander is considered both a cooling and warming herb. Although the entire plant is edible, depending upon the part of the plant that is consumed, one can use it both as a summer and winter spice. Adding fresh green coriander leaves to summer foods helps the body get rid of excess heat and toxic build-up in the body.

As it detoxifies the body, it helps the body stay cool and refreshed. The seeds, on the other hand, confer a warming effect. They help stimulate appetite and eliminate toxic waste. Coriander is also good for the digestive system and the body’s excretory system. It also plays a vital role in stabilising blood sugar levels. 

6. Green Cardamom  

The green cardamom or the choti elaichi is the perfect summer spice. It protects the digestive system from excessive heat and removes unwanted chemicals and toxins from the body, reducing the body heat from within. 

A perfect addition to your hot morning tea, cold almond milk, and a range of summer smoothies, it aids in digestion, neutralises excess stomach acids to fight nausea and heartburn, and provides relief from cramps and pain. 

Body Warming Summer Spices

Listed below are the spices that are warm but when consumed in the right manner, can prove to be great during the summer season:

1. Fenugreek Seeds 

Fenugreek seeds are body warming. But having them soaked in water or drinking their water makes them an ideal summer spice with many health benefits. Using soaked fenugreek adds flavour to the food. 

Drinking fenugreek water on an empty stomach in the morning makes it a potent antacid. You can use soaked and sprouted fenugreek seeds to aid digestion. It is an excellent way to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels. You can also add soaked fenugreek seeds to curries for enhanced nutrition. 

2. Saffron 

Saffron, also called the golden spice because of its striking yellow colour, is known for its cooling properties. Although a body warming spice, saffron needs to be moistened to release its flavours. This changes it to a body cooling food. 

Often added to desserts and curries, it is excellent for glowing and youthful skin. It also helps reduce skin tan, soothe irritated skin, and get rid of inflammation. Saffron is also known to reduce stress hormone levels and is a potent way to relieve the psychological symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Saffron is rich in manganese which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Its high riboflavin levels are good for heart health. 

3. Ginger  

Ginger is another, all-weather, healthy spice. While it keeps you warm in winters, adding fresh ginger to foods has a cooling effect on the body. The magical spice helps fight heat stress. Its antimicrobial properties decrease body inflammation and strengthen the immune system. 

A cup of ginger tea also helps cure morning sickness in pregnant women. Garnishing curds and salads with finely chopped ginger fingers will help improve digestion and stimulate appetite, which reduces significantly in the hot summer months.

4. Turmeric 

Turmeric is among the healthy spices that are body warming but confers a cooling effect to the body when used in summers. Its healing properties are health-boosting. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is a potent blood purifier. Turmeric is also revered for its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial traits. It boosts the digestion system and enhances immunity.

Conclusion

Thankfully, just like summer foods, summer spices help the body remain comfortable during this unpleasant season. But pick your spice carefully. Read through the health benefits of spices before adding them to your summer diet. While cooling spices are a not-to-miss addition, the body warming spices must be consumed in limited quantities only.

Herbal Teas for Stress Relief That are Worth Trying

There is nothing more relaxing than a cup of tea after a long day. Tea is not just your everyday beverage. When you change the ingredients, you can enjoy some wonderful medicinal properties. The use of teas for stress relief is an age-old practice that you can try at home, too. 

How Do Herbal Teas Help in Stress Relief 

Traditional medicine uses the best teas for stress and depression that are made with a combination of medicinal plants and herbs. Some special brews are known to calm you down and even help you sleep better. The beneficial plant compounds found in these teas are highly potent and may give you instant relief. This effect is the result of several properties of these plant compounds: 

  1. They are rich in antioxidants, protecting the body from stress 
  2. They are known to reduce blood pressure and clots formation 
  3. They improve sleep and help you rest better
  4. They have a direct calming effect on the nervous system 
  5. They help the body release hormones that bring down stress levels

The Best Herbal Teas for Stress Relief 

A study conducted in 2018 suggests that the best teas for stress relief can give you results even when you just inhale the aroma. Here is a list of the most commonly used teas to help you experience faster stress relief: 

1. Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon balm is a traditional herb that is commonly used for stress relief. This is one of the best teas for stress and depression because it is known to help you relax and improve your mood. Lemon balm, when combined with lavender, provides extremely beneficial results as it also helps you sleep better. It is also known to produce certain mood regulators that prevent overexcitement of the neurons, thereby reducing anxiety and stress. 

Lemon balm tea is available in the form of powders, tablets, and tea bags. It has a very refreshing citrus flavour with some mint-like notes. 

2. Chamomile Tea 

Chamomile tea has always been associated with low-stress levels and a healthy nervous system. A study conducted in 2013 showed that this is one of the best teas for stress relief. These randomised tests conducted over 8 weeks showed significant results after consuming this tea regularly. 

Chamomile tea is soothing, relaxing, and calming. It is highly recommended before bedtime to improve your sleep. Chamomile is also known to provide relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome which is associated with anxiety and stress. 

3. Rose Tea

Brewing tea using petals gives you a delicious and soothing beverage. Roses have the ability to nourish and restore the nervous system. If you are looking for the best teas for stress and depression, then this is amongst the easiest ones to prepare. All you need to do is add a few petals of a rose to regular black tea. 

One of the factors that contribute to the calming effects of roses is the fragrance. So when you are brewing the tea, make sure to inhale the scent for stress relief. There is no restriction on the colour of the rose that you should use for these teas for stress relief. Rose tea is also known to benefit women during their menstrual cycle. It helps reduce pain and cramps and elevates the mood as well. 

However, make sure that the petals are free from any pesticide or herbicide residue. Choose organic roses or make sure that the petals are cleaned thoroughly before using. 

4. Lavender Tea 

Stress and depression affect your sleep. It is a vicious cycle where the lack of sleep makes you feel more stressed. Lavender has long been used as a remedy for insomnia. The luxurious scent of essential oils containing lavender is recommended for those who find it hard to fall asleep. Studies have shown that smelling lavender oil just before you go to bed can help you enter deeper stages of sleep, faster. 

Lavender Tea has a similar effect. Starting with the aroma, this tea calms your nervous system down instantly. It also soothes the body and allows you to unwind after a stressful day. Studies show that drinking one cup of lavender tea in the morning calms the nervous system and one at night reduces the depression and anxiety scores of most participants. The added benefits of lavender are better digestion, which in turn affects your mood. 

5. Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is one of the most well-known Ayurvedic herbs which has multiple uses medicinally. One of its significant properties is its adaptogenic abilities. An adaptogen is anything that helps your body manage stress. It supports the body by helping it restore itself to normalcy after a stressful event. 

For this reason, most commercial teas for stress relief include ashwagandha in their blend. Ashwagandha contains compounds called with anolides which activate GABA receptors in our brain. These receptors reduce stress response and prevent the nervous system from becoming too excited. 

However, to see significant results, it is recommended that you consume ashwagandha tea regularly for at least 3 to 4 weeks. Ashwagandha also has positive effects on your immunity because of its potent antioxidant properties. It protects your body from oxidative stress and keeps you healthier. 

6. Valerian Root Tea 

To help you overcome stress and depression, sleep is a very important factor. It is restorative in nature and you should feel well-rested each morning in order to function well. One of the most effective herbs when it comes to improving sleep is valerian root. It is one of the best teas for stress and anxiety because it improves both the quality and quantity of sleep. 

Valerian root works by reducing certain enzymes that interfere with the function of GABA receptors. This gives you a sense of calm and helps you relax. Valerian root has gained popularity recently, especially after a study conducted in 2020. It revealed that valerian root reduces the time taken to fall asleep and increases the time that you spend in deep sleep stages. 

7. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint tea is made using dried peppermint leaves. It has several health benefits besides stress and anxiety relief. Peppermint is known to soothe digestive troubles, relieve constipation, improve focus, and boost your immunity. 

A study conducted on patients with cardiac issues showed that peppermint aroma was beneficial in those who experienced anxiety before receiving an Intravenous catheterisation. This is also one of the most easily available types of teas for stress relief. 

Conclusion

To prepare the perfect teas for stress relief, you can also try the blends of different herbs. Chamomile and lemon balm, for instance, gives you instant results. You can try different combinations until you find the perfect blend to keep your nerves calm. Herbal teas are very safe to use. However, if you have a history of food or other allergies, it is highly recommended that you consult your doctor before including a new type of tea into your routine. If you are unable to prepare the teas using the herbs, choose organic ones available in stores for the best results.