Managing And Recovering From Chronic Stress using Food

Posted on November 20, 2017

Photo: pexels

Consuming a variety of whole foods rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals and minimizing the intake of processed foods, we can actually help our body help ourselves recover from the effects of stress. It's as simple as that!

These are a list of foods especially helpful in calming the effects you feel from chronic stress:

1. Green Leafy Vegetables
☑ Provides us with numerous phytonutrients and antioxidants (e.g. Magnesium and B vitamins)
Magnesium: supports the body's stress regulating functions
• Lack of it in our diet associated with irritability, anxiety, sleep issues, high blood pressure and heart disease
• Besides leafy green vegetables, good sources are nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, whole grains, bananas and dark chocolate.
B Vitamins: facilitate optimal nerve and brain function
• Lack of it may be a factor in mood disorders such as depression and anxiety

2. Walnuts
☑ Provides us with healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids which calms the effects of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
• Known to reduce anxiety and stress levels
• Walnuts contain an abundance of it
• Foods rich in Omega-3 also include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, etc.), chia seeds, flaxseed oil, spinach, wheat germ, olive oil and grass-fed beef.

3. Berries
☑ Neutralize the harmful waste product, free radicals, which is created by chronic stress. (These free radicals can bind to cells, damage their proteins, DNA and other cell components.)
☑ Anthocyanins are a powerful type of antioxidants, abundant in pigments of blue and red colored berries.
☑ Rich sources of Vitamin C:
• Maintains hormonal balance
• Important for mood regulation
• Necessary for proper immune system functioning

4. Avocado
☑ Contain omega-3s and healthy fats, just like Walnuts
☑ Contains mighty antioxidant preventing free radical damage
• "the mother of all antioxidants", "the master detoxifier", "maestro of the immune system"
• Also found in cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, cabbage, collards and cauliflower

5. Cashews
☑ Rich in protein, healthy fats
☑ Rich in Zinc: an essential mineral that physical/emotional stress can deplete
• Not enough Zinc is associated with stress response disruption, irritability. and depressive symptoms
• Other foods high in Zinc include seafood, wheat germ, spinach, pumpkin seeds, chicken and cocoa powder.

What we put into our body profoundly affects our body's response to, and recovery from stress. Even the smallest actions like snacking on nuts or getting one more leafy green serving in our weekly diet, if made consistent, can yield substantial results.

Source material from Brain Physics

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