Is it possible to beat stress with special diet? Can healthy diet reduce the stress? – These are questions asked by many women who experience stress and who are looking for healthy diet to beat stress.
Several studies demonstrated the positive effect of healthy diet on body’s ability to survive stress and to response to stress. Negative effects of stress can be avoided with a healthy balanced diet.
During stress human body becomes more prone to digestive problems and our nervous system and adrenal glands are overloaded (working on overdrive) – using much more nutrients than normal. Healthy diet with essential vitamins and minerals can make your body much stronger for fighting any kind of stress.
It is well known that strong adrenal glands can “fight” stress better by producing enough so called “stress hormones”; this is why certain foods and vitamins are recommended for women in stress (food full of vitamin C, vitamin B complex, zinc and magnesium). Mentioned vitamins provide needed nutrients to adrenal glands.
Besides vitamins, professionals recommend many foods which can help to deal with stress.
Healthy stress diet
Almonds are known as first stress-busters and great stress relievers because they are full of vitamins B2, vitamin E, magnesium and zinc.
Serotonin is an essential neurotransmitter responsible for regulating many body and brain activities including stress response and stress reactions. Serotonin regulates mood, metabolism and appetite. Vitamins B and magnesium are involved in the production of serotonin in our body and almonds actually could help regulate mood and relieve stress.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that destroys the free radicals related to stress and stress related heart disease.
Researchers discovered the positive effect of peppermint on stress related symptoms such as reduced concentration ability and weak focusing performances which are very important especially during driving. Stressed drivers have more accidents and it is recommended to use peppermint (peppermint tea) regularly if you are in stress and forced to drive.
Pumpkin seeds can “fight” stress thanks to high levels of magnesium. Decreased levels of magnesium in our body can trigger easily several stress related symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, tension, fatigue, insomnia, nervousness and high blood pressure.
Fish is full of vitamins B6 and B12 which are known as “stress fighters” – B vitamins are involved in production of serotonin (brain “happy’ chemical) and could be involved in mood changes during stress.
At the same time fish is full of omega-3 fat which can prevent stress related heart diseases. Salmon is recognized as the best source of omega-3 fat.
Tuna fish is also a good product full of vitamins B6 and B12 – stress fighters.
Many people like sushi which also could be recommended during stress – aside from the benefits of fish, the seaweed in rolls also has anxiety-fighting elements. At the same time sushi is packed with stress-relieving magnesium, pantothenic acid and vitamin B2. It was discovered that pantothenic acid contributes to the health of the adrenal glands – pantothenic acid play very important role in stress management.
Broccoli is full of vitamins B and folic acid – this combination is crucial in fighting stress. The importance of B vitamins was also mentioned above and folic acid helps relieve stress, anxiety, panic and symptoms of depression.
It is well known that milk is very useful products and it is important during stress because of B vitamins (B2, B12), protein, calcium and antioxidants that help destroy free radicals associated with stress.
Cottage cheese combined with Cantaloupe and Fruits
Cottage cheese is a good product which contains protein, calcium, vitamins B2 and B12. Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin C which can beat the stress because during stress adrenal glands utilize and need vitamin C in increased volumes. Vitamin C plays pretty important role in fighting stress because Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that get released during stress. These free radicals have been shown to cause cancer.
Certain fruits (orange, mandarin, lemon, etc.) are high in Vitamin C also and combination of cottage cheese, cantaloupe and mentioned fruits can be considered as stress fighting products.
Blueberries are a good source of antioxidants and vitamin C, which are well known stress fighters. Blueberries are also a good source of fiber, which can help relieve the cramps and constipation (typical symptoms of long-term stress).
Asparagus is rich of folic acid, which can help stabilize your mood. Folic acid (in combination with B vitamins) can help keep your mood steady because they are needed to make serotonin, which is a chemical that directly affects mood in a positive way.
Healthy stress diet recommendations
During stress (short-term or long-term) it is not only important to eat certain products but it is also very important to follow healthy eating habits such as:
To eat small portions 4-5 times a day
Every day use food full of fibre
Avoid refined sugar
Don’t eat fast and chew your food properly (approximately 30-50 times per mouthful)
Be relaxed during your meal and devote certain time for eating
Avoid eating during evening – last food should be taken at least 3-4 hours before bedtime
Avoid big quantities of coffee, tea and cola drinks
Avoid all possible allergens – allergic body reactions make you weaker in fighting the stress
Always choose fresh food and avoid bad or expired food
Limit red meat and salty foods
Increase the amount of white meat, fish, fresh fruit, vegetables, wholemeal bread, wholewheat pasta, and brown rice in your diet.
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Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.