Foods to decrease your stress!
Are you feeling stressed? Are you finding your stress levels are increasing? You aren’t alone.
Stress is a manifestation of how you actually respond to different stressors, and how you handle those, in your daily life. I’m sure you’ll agree there have been quite a few stressors over the last year or so and whilst some of us are a little less reactive, some of us well, we need a little more help in that department.
Physically, stress can cause a pumping out of toxic substances into our bloodstream from our body in general. In turn, this can leave us feeling irritable, moody, and lacking in that all-important energy.
Stress has a hand in our digestion, weight, optimum organ functionality, and our blood sugar levels, amongst other body systems.
When we have a poor response to stress it can leave our hormones all over the place, including spikes in adrenalin and cortisol levels. These guys are designed to help our body respond to emergency situations such as a fight or flight, however, raised for longer periods of time than needed, it can lead to all sorts of physical responses such as heart rate increase, blood-sugar levels increase, heavy breathing, etc.
We are increasingly having to deal with ‘stressors’ that induce this fight or flight response, including pandemics, job losses, fires & floods, increasing interest rates/cost of living challenges etc…..however, even seemingly smaller stressors are these days inducing fight or flight for longer periods. This includes situations such as babies crying, arguments, relationship issues, and traffic jams.
Physical exercise is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective ways to settle these hormone surges. It helps to ‘burn off’ these negative stress responses quickly so your adrenals and brain can settle again.
Add to exercise the right food choices, and you can assist your body in handling stress in a much healthier - and more effective way.
Let’s look at foods to embrace and foods to avoid when it comes to decreasing stress.
High in antioxidants that your liver loves. When your liver is feeling more positive, this has a positive effect on your moods and ability to deal with stress.
Has a constituent called allicin that as well as positive physical effects, also helps boost mood.
These guys contain 14 minerals which regulate your body's functions including iron and copper which aid in red-blood regeneration and the prevention of nutritional anaemia, one very common cause of low energy, fatigue, and the inability to deal effectively with stress.
Brown rice, legumes, parsley, and green vegetables
All have high levels of vitamin B which is necessary for your nervous system to cope with the effects of stress.
Contains antioxidant vitamins A, C and E which are great at helping your body with stress-busting!
Think strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even raspberries. All are rich in manganese and Vitamin C. When your Vitamin C is low you can already feel run down, then add stress and your immune system weakens making your feel even more stressed.
Remember I mentioned earlier that we need to love our liver more so it can deal with moods and stress? Well, cucumbers are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that nourish it, can contribute to having beautiful skin, and help you balance hormones, and boost your mood!
These are so effective at helping to relieve stress symptoms by supporting and nourishing the central nervous and glandular systems. Play around with types, however, some of the best are camomile, ginseng, mint or lavender. Just be cautious and ensure that it is completely natural - so many teas these days have added synthetic colours and flavours - so read the ingredients carefully! (see last tip in this blog)
This can actually cause the release of adrenalin, so increasing your level of stress.
Again this can actually stimulate the adrenalin and contribute to irritability, insomnia and nervous tension.
Fatty, Salty and Sweet foods
Between them they contribute to boosting short-term energy, then resulting in exhaustion of adrenal glands, resulting in issues such as irritability, poor concentration, emotional instability, and ultimately hindering the body's ability to balance all of your systems effectively.
My final tip is to avoid all foods that contain additives, preservatives or other chemicals.
These guys place a huge stress on your body and mind. Your body has to work really hard to deal with them, for example, your digestive system, bowel, and even your liver have to work harder processing these chemicals, instead of devoting their energy to building and maintaining your immune system strength - and minimising your stress levels!