Eating for Stress
Foods to Eat to Beat Stress
Comfort foods do what they say on the tin, right?
Wrong…or at least in the shorter term they might provide some comfort…like when you’re stressed or down you have a tendency to reach out for chocolate, biscuits, cake and even alcohol. However, in the longer term this can lead to obesity, health problems and negative feelings that go along with that! The act of consuming them over time can actually make you feel much worse! It’s a negative cycle!
Eventually, for many, this lifestyle can lead to high levels of stress and/or depression that often gets worse over time. With that comes a lack of energy and motivation that can also affect concentration at work and even interfere with your family life. The cycle continues.
You are feeding the stress.
So, it may be helpful for you to know that you can easily make some small changes and develop positive habits that will ultimately benefit you in the longer term. No-one expects you to be an angel but simply starting to introduce some small changes to your diet can really help to bust that stress-cycle of negativity.
In next to no time you will begin to feel the positive benefits of a healthier lifestyle. You would be amazed at the foods out there that have incredible stress-busting properties and in fact, you’ll begin to wonder why you didn’t make the changes sooner!
Over a weekly shop, why not resolve to add in some small changes? Three simple changes can make a BIG difference to your stress levels!
- Make one meal you can cook from scratch and make it simple! A lean, protein stir- fry with lots of leafy and rainbow veggies can be prepared and cooked in around15 minutes.
- Consider kick-starting your day by blitzing up a delicious power-packed smoothie.
- Take a superfood and nut trail mix to work. Kill those hunger pangs and reduce the impulse to snack unhealthily.
Also, try incorporating some of these stress reducing foods into your weekly diet.
Stress Busting Foods:
Dark green, leafy vegetables (think Spinach, Broccoli, Swiss Chard and Kale) – are packed with folates that are thought to increase dopamine levels in the brain related to pleasure and positive mood.
Avocados (great in smoothies) – dense in nutrients like Magnesium and Vitamin B6 that may help regulate serotonin levels believed to be vital for positive mood. Also good for heart health and packed full of antioxidants thought to have incredible overall physical health benefits too!
Fatty/Oily Fish (Salmon, Mackerel and Herring) – rich in Omega 3 and Vitamin D, these have been indicated to have a positive benefit in boosting mood and lowering levels of stress. Low levels of Om3 have been linked to anxiety and depression.
Shellfish (Prawns, Shrimp, Crab and Mussels) – contain Taurine that is thought to regulate stress levels and mood that might be seen as a ‘nature’s anti-depressant’. Packed with Selenium and also a good source of B12 Vitamin, Copper and Manganese for brain health and also Om3 (although not as good as oily fish).
Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds (perfect for trail mix) – High in Antioxidants and Magnesium thought to boost mood and reduce stress.
Blueberries (a smoothie staple also great for snacking) – packed with Antioxidants and Magnesium, Vitamin B6. It’s often thought to be a perfect ‘all-rounder’ for boosting both physical and mental health.
Nuts! (great for snacking) – Specifically Brazil nuts that are high in Selenium content thought to play a vital role in reducing anxiety and stress. Also contains Vitamin E (studies have shown that low levels may lead to depression). Almonds are also a great snack option as they’re high in Magnesium and B Vitamins.
Dark Chocolate 70% plus (for trail mix or simply pop a square or two as a dessert) – full of Magnesium, Copper and Manganese thought to promote brain health/mood regulation.
Adding-in stress-busting foods to your diet on a small, easily achievable scale promotes healthy habits that will often make you want to do more! Once you begin to feel the benefits to your overall health and mood then this helps break the cycle of negativity of low mood or stress. Then, before you know it, boosting your health and mood becomes a natural part of your life!
Often, vital nutrients and minerals can become depleted in our diet and there are many ways you can boost these quickly, for example by ensuring you shop as fresh or Organic as possible or you might wish to consider a nutritional supplement that could accelerate the benefits of a healthy diet and maintain optimum nutrition. Take a look at the supplements available on our website. Many of these incorporate specific ingredients that are thought to specifically target brain health thereby helping to reduce stress and anxiety.