IN YOUR 20s
Protect against stress
More than one in three Australians say they are ” very” stressed — and it’s younger people in particular who consistently report lower levels of wellbeing, the Australian Psychological Society says. Unfortunately, research indicates that high stress levels correlate with telomeres that are one decade shorter than they should be. But you can fight back!
EAT MORE … Fish
It contains marine-sourced omega-3 fatty acids, which help to protect the heart against the detrimental effects of mental stress. To make it work: Eat two or three serves of oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel each week — because the oilier the fi sh you eat, the more omega-3s youll be consuming.
They’re full of fibre, which preliminary research suggests can limit the effect stress has on gut bacteria and behaviour. To make it work: Choose brown rice rather than white rice, and opt for wholegrain or wholemeal breads, crackers, pastas and flour.
In one study, people who described themselves as ”stressed out” ate dark chocolate every day for two weeks. Their stress hormone levels fell, and their stress-related biochemical imbalances improved. To make it work: You need only 40g dark choc a day, but choose one that’s at least 70 per cent cocoa — it’s where the healthy compounds live.