Mr and Mrs Nutritionist

Foods to Reduce Stress

Dangers of Stress

Stress, an evolutionary necessity to keep us safe when trying to outrun a lion, or to fight off a bear, has lost it’s evolutionary advantage in the modern world.  With so many different types of stressors in life such as money troubles, work stress, family stress, and just general stress about everyday life, what once use to be short bursts of stress has turned into chronic stress.

The problem with chronic stress, besides the fact that it is an uncomfortable state to stay in long term, is that it can have severe consequences to our health, such as:

  • Tension headaches/ migraines
  • Tight muscles/ knots
  • Depression
  • Digestive disorders
  • Weight gain/ obesity
  • Loss of concentration/ memory
  • Anxiety
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Premature aging

Chronic vs Acute Stress

There are many different ways in which people can help cure/ cope with their stressed out lifestyles.  This can include:

  • A change of lifestyle
  • Behavioral/ mindfulness techniques
  • Healthy outlets of stress relief i.e. exercise
  • Meditation/ yoga
  • Regularly seeing a therapist

But, even those who have developed mechanisms to cope with their stressful lives can still use nutrition to counteract the effects stress can have on the body, and help mitigate it’s damage.

Best Foods to Counteract Stress

  1. Dark Chocolate– the ‘real dark chocolate’, meaning 70% + cocoa, releases chemicals in the brain that not only boost your mood, but can help alleviate anxiety.  
  2. Fatty Fishomega-3 found in fatty fish such as salmon, have been found to not only prevent depression but also reduce anxiety.
  3. Probiotics– your gut is linked to your brain, and the brain has the ability to reduce stress hormones.  So foods containing probiotics such as yogurts, and fermented foods can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
  4. Blueberries– there are so many antioxidants in blueberries, which are great for preventing premature aging, and cancer, caused by stress.  
  5. Tea– some of those old wives tales are true, many teas such as chamomile, peppermint, and lemon are extremely calming and can do wonders to reduce your anxiety and stress.

Foods to Avoid

Primarily, the foods that you should avoid to prevent excess stress and anxiety are foods that are generally deemed ‘unhealthy’.  These types of foods include:

  • Sugary foods
  • Salty foods
  • Highly processed foods
  • Drinks high in caffeine
  • Alcohol

Worst Foods for Stress

 

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