Stress Relief With Food, Yes Really

Published on February 15, 2018
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Our bodies physically react to stress. Muscle tension builds, our breathing changes, our hearts race, and blood sugar spikes. Plus, any appetite and stomach changes mean we’re in for a heck of a day. Here’s the thing though, chronic stress can lead to some serious chronic health issues – and it’s important we get a hang on as soon as possible. Scarfing down chocolate or eating a whole bag of chips is only a temporary solution. All high-calorie foods will only cause us to physically feel worse. Plus, it can cause negative emotions which only sustains stress.

Don’t worry, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Consuming healthy, nutritional food can have the opposite effects on our body. Moreover, over time, eating these healthy foods helps our brain and body to better handle stress. A balance of fat, fiber, and protein will stabilize blood sugar while loading us with all important minerals and vitamins. It’s time to start adding these food to your daily routine from now on.

Yogurt

Studies have shown that consumption of probiotic-rich foods aids in good digestion, making a pathway to gut-brain communication. All of which help us feel happy and calm. We should also know that probiotics have been known to soothe any stress-related stomach problems. A 2013 study proved that there is a connection with consuming probiotic bacteria in yogurt and also a reduction in activity in certain parts of the brain which handle stress and emotion. Basically it suggests that a change in the gut bacteria impacts brain function. Moreover yogurt stabilizes protein, calcium, and potassium, all of which support regular muscle and nerve function that help us remain calm and think clearly.

Yogurt

Yogurt

Oats

Any time you’re stressed, the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin within takes a hit. And knowing that carbohydrates are huge in the serotonin production, a stress-induced carb craving is quite normal and understandable. That’s why you need whole grains to stabilize blood sugar levels. Oats add a punch of amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and is an essential part of its production. Vitamin B6, which is in oats, is just as important so that your brain fires at all cylinders. This way you’ll feel focused and energized instead of feeling drowsy and sleepy all day.

Oranges

Make folate-rich oranges your go-to next time you’re feeling stressed. Loaded with potassium and fiber, plus the added benefit of a bright color and watery flavor provides a nice boost. Plus the Vitamin C in oranges helps slow down the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. If you’re not a fan of citrus, try some mango, berries, or kiwi. And if you’re not much a sweet loving person, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, or winter squash are also great options.

Oranges

Oranges

Spinach

Work day going rough? Eat a huge spinach salad at lunch time to feel full of energy and the 3PM feeling won’t kick in. The folate that dark, leafy greens like spinach and mustard greens produce are actually pleasure-causing brain chemical dopamine. Spinach also has protein and fiber. Moreover the potassium, magnesium, and calcium in spinach helps support normal muscle and nerve function to help soothe the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress.

Eggs

Omelets, sunny side up, scrambled, hard-boiled whatever, eggs are great for fighting stress. The protein and fat produced by eggs helps stabilize blood sugar, and eggs are a great and easy addition to any meal. Eggs have tryptophan, which we need for serotonin production to feel positive for extended periods of time. And then there’s the fact that eggs have an anti-inflammatory impact of omega-3 fatty acids which counteract the effects of stress hormones.

Eggs

Eggs

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