Are you under stress? If the answer is yes, then it is critical that you evaluate what you are eating. It’s easy to forget the importance of the foods we put into our bodies. What we eat has a big impact on our health and in turn, our ability to deal with stress.
The main takeaway from this article should be to eat the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Meaning, for every bite you put in your mouth be sure you are getting important macronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Here are some foods (note this is just a brief list – there are many more!) that can help alleviate your stress:
1. Dark Chocolate.
A small piece of dark chocolate each day can actually provide you with many health benefits. For the specific details on how much and what kind, see The Health Benefits of Chocolate!
2. Green Leafy Vegetables.
Leafy greens contain a lot of magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral that has the power to relax muscles.
Meats can help you combat stress by providing a good source of protein. They also contain necessary amino acids for healthy brain function. Be sure to choose grass-fed and pasture-raised/free range meats whenever possible.
4. Fish Oil.
Fish oil contains essential fatty acids that help with serotonin uptake in the brain. Serotonin makes you feel good mentally and enables your brain to better cope with stress. You can get your fish oil from certain kinds of fish, such as salmon, or from supplements. Nordic Naturals is a great fish oil supplement.
While spinach would obviously be included in #1 above (green leafy vegetables), spinach deserves to also be listed separately. Spinach is one of the world’s super foods. It contains many vitamins, antioxidants and omega 3’s. This means it would be hard to eat spinach and not feel good!
Yes, caffeine is a stimulant and there is a risk of developing an unhealthy habit, however, moderation is the key. Coffee can help stimulate the brain into working with more energy and efficiency, helping you feel more motivated and less stressed. If you are under chronic stress and have adrenal fatigue, eliminating caffeine may also be helpful though.
Nuts help you maintain your proper blood sugar. They also contain plenty of the vitamin B complex, which combats fatigue.
Vitamins & Supplements
It is always best to get the necessary nutrition from our food, however, vitamin supplements help your body get the nutrients it might be missing. Remember, if you are under chronic or severe stress, food is just one component. Adequate sleep, hydration, stress management and evaluation of disease are also important factor to address!