Happiness On A Plate: Reducing Stress With Food
Hello everyone! Let’s take a look at managing our stress, shall we?
Stress management is a many faceted jewel. Most people find that they cannot reduce and control the stress of everyday life with just one technique. However, by using a plethora of techniques such as breathing exercises, natural supplements, and meditation, people are able to handle the stress they face day to day in a calm, if not productive way. Luckily for us, we are becoming more and more aware of how the lifestyle choices we make affect our mood and ability to deal with stress.
Because of this renaissance in the art and practices of holistic healing, we have more options for handling stress than ever before, and that provides people the opportunity to form their own opinion and choose the techniques that fit their lifestyle the best. However, most experts can agree that eating a balanced diet that is rich in certain nutrients can help people cope with the stress and pressure of life.
Complex Carbohydrates trigger the production of serotonin in the brain, just as all carbohydrates do. Complex carbs such as whole grain breads and pastas, and brown rice are much healthier for you than their more processed cousins. Whole grains also take longer to digest, which means that you will reap the serotonin-boosting benefits for much longer. In addition to increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain, complex carbohydrates also help keep your blood sugar in check which helps you feel more balanced overall
Fatty Fish such as tuna or salmon are the best source for omega-3 fatty acids, which not only reduce your risk for heart disease and mood disorders, but also help your body handle stress efficiently. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the effects of stress by blocking the production of certain hormones called cytokines, allowing you to remain focused and calm while you are dealing with whatever problems life has thrown at you. Nutritionists recommend that you eat at least 3 ounces of fatty fish twice a week to maintain stress-busting levels of omega-3’s, but if you don’t eat fish don’t despair! You can still have the benefits of these amazing oils by taking an Omega-3 supplement with the fatty acids EPA and DHA. Look for a supplement that is heavy in EPA, as it has the most stress reducing benefits.
Oranges provide a ton of vitamin C, about 70 mg or 75-90% of your daily recommended intake in an average orange, which can help boost your immune system and curb the production of stress hormones. In one study performed by German scientists, results showed that cortisol and blood pressure levels returned to normal much faster after a stressful task when the patient had taken vitamin C beforehand.
Black Tea can also help you recover from a stressful situation more quickly. A study performed atUniversity College London (UCL) found that while both subjects who drank tea before a stressful task and those who had not released a similar amount of cortisol in response to the stress, those who had tea beforehand returned to normal levels of cortisol almost twice as fast as those who had not.
Vegetables can help reduce stress in many different ways. Leafy, green vegetables like kale, beet leaves, and especially spinach contain magnesium which can help ward off fatigue and headaches. Other raw vegetables like carrots, celery, or cucumbers can help reduce stress in a purely mechanical sense by soothing our need to clench our jaws and grind our teeth when confronted with stress. Try dipping carrot sticks in almond butter for an extra boost of vitamins and a crunchy treat that satisfies both your appetite and your mood.
There are so many ways to cope with the stress in your life, and eating a healthy, balanced diet can be a powerful part of your stress management toolbox, but sometimes the most powerful tool is support. If you need help on your journey to a calmer, more relaxed you don’t hesitate to contact us!
If you are interested in taking action to move your health to the next level, please apply for a complimentary ”Get Your Life Back” Strategy Session by filling out the contact form here (Please note – it doesn’t matter where you are in the world for you to benefit, as long as you have an internet connection or phone line).