Foods that Fight Stress
If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
- Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
- Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you're feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
- Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
- Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
- Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
- Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you're stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
- Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
- Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
- Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
- Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve. My favorite fermented foods are sauerkraut and kombucha; these tend to have less sugar in them than traditional yogurts. Make sure to read the labels!
Let's talk about the microbiome! Specifically we dive into the connection between health and disease, and how you can support your own microbiomes. It's our second solo episode of the Toxin Terminator and you can tune in today!
Find out about:
· What a microbiome is.
· How location and social interaction can effect microbiomes.
· The connection between health and disease.
· How environment, diet, and pharmaceuticals effect our microbiomes.
· The various ways we can support our own microbiomes through the use of supplements.
“It's estimated that a person's microbiome may include as many as eight million genes.”
“Now they're finding the gut is really considered a second brain.”
“There's not a fix for every body, it's what works for your body.”
“There's so many positive things that apple cider vinegar can do.”
Important Links and Mentions:
Connect with me!
To listen to this podcast episode click here.
On the first-ever SOLO episode of The Toxin Terminator podcast, we outline each of the five pillars of a toxin-free lifestyle; air, water, absorption, food, and emotional and mental.
Find out about:
· The five pillars of a toxin-free lifestyle.
· Some sources of air pollution in our homes.
· The importance of thinking about water that goes on our body as well as in.
· Why absorption is so important not to overlook.
· Making sure that we have good food sources.
· Different aspects of the emotional and mental elements.
“The science is saying that the air in our homes is five times more polluted than the outdoor air.”
“When we are taking a shower, we're heating everything up, we're opening up the pores of our bodies, so we're absorbing the toxins that are coming in through those water sources.”
“Do we ever think about what we're putting on our body as being part of our healthy lifestyle?”
“We eat what they ate.”
“If our gut health is not in good shape, our mental health is going to suffer as well.”
Important Links and Mentions:
- Episode 20 - How to Remove Toxic Thoughts with Melissa Poepping
- Episode 22 - 5 Steps to Achieve Rapid Self Awareness with Amy Bull
- Click Here to get your Free Toxic Assessment